Cirque du Soleil: Varekai (2003)

TV Special  |   |  Documentary, Family, Fantasy
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 426 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

The Cirque du Soleil creation telling the story of Icarus, whose wings melt when he flies to close to the run, sending him crashing into the volcanic and mysterious world of Varekai.

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Gilkey ...
Skywatcher / La Vigie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Octavio Alegria ...
Juggler
Alexei Anikine ...
Russian Swings
Kevin Atherton Laprise ...
Aerial Straps / Body Skating (as Kevin Atherton)
Andrew Atherton ...
Aerial Straps / Body Skating
Helen Ball ...
Triple Trapeze / Body Skating
...
Musician (Drummer) (as Paul Bannerman)
Roni Bello ...
Icarian Games
Stiv Bello ...
Icarian Games
Cinthia Beranek ...
Triple Trapeze / Body Skating
Vasyl Besha ...
Icarian games / Body Skating
Sergiy Bobrovnik ...
Russian Swings
Claudio Carnerio ...
Clown
Mooky Cornish ...
Clown
Michel Cyr ...
Bandleader / Keyboards
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Storyline

Icarus is the main character of Varekai, who falls to the ground, breaking his legs as he does. He is suddenly in a strange, new world full of creatures he has never seen before. "Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered." Assisted by the strange and quirky La Vigie, he works on regaining his strength and finding his way, his desire being to fly again. While on the ground, he meets The Betrothed, an underground, insect-like creature who he falls in love with. The two have barely met when she is kidnapped. Having already lost his love, Icarus must also find a way to see her again and conquer the obstacles in his path, continuing his quest through Varekai. Written by Tea

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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14 June 2003 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Filmed on the opening section of its world tour, Varekai features the performers seen in the documentary reality series Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within (2002). See more »

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User Reviews

 
As good as a circus gets
15 January 2005 | by (Atwater, CA) – See all my reviews

This isn't the first circus with a story I've seen, but its the best. No animal acts, clowns in minicars or individual stand alone performances, this sort of circus is highly stylized with a usually vague story, singing and music to blend one act after another.

Some of the performers come from long lines of family acts, but there's also a fair number of Olympic caliber athletes looking to work their talent outside of competition. The acts are not all great, but are at least good and a few are exceptional. I thought it was pretty amazing that they are all done flawlessly in front of a live audience: Not one dropped prop, clumsy trip, dorky fall or wardrobe malfunction.

I'm not often drawn to the artsy/pouffy sort of humor. It tends to be too French for me, and it just doesn't appeal. Not all things French, just their humor. Any sound effects resembling gastrointestinal activity are apparently the ultimate comedy. The least appealing parts of Varekai involved that same French humor, and knocks the score down a little. I enjoyed the other comic acts in the show, whether they were French or not.

You can't beat a live circus show, but there are some advantages with watching this one on a widescreen. It was shot in HD format so it naturally takes in wider shots, and there's many angle shots, overheads and closeups that the live audience would never see. Colors are almost oversaturated but thats because so much of the circus is in bright primary colors. Varekai even has a DTS soundtrack and employs all the 5.1 system to good effect. The 2nd disc has some bio info on the performers and a short on getting selected and training for a live performance. The DVD set comes in a foldout box within a box, and gets an 8/10.


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