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The Magic Flute (2006)

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During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writers:

Emanuel Schikaneder (libretto), Kenneth Branagh (adapted for the screen by) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Kaiser Joseph Kaiser ... Tamino
Amy Carson Amy Carson ... Pamina
René Pape René Pape ... Sarastro
Lyubov Petrova Lyubov Petrova ... Queen of the Night
Ben Davis ... Papageno (as Benjamin Jay Davis)
Silvia Moi Silvia Moi ... Papagena
Tom Randle Tom Randle ... Monostatos
Ben Uttley ... Priest
Teuta Koço Teuta Koço ... First Lady
Louise Callinan Louise Callinan ... Second Lady
Kim-Marie Woodhouse Kim-Marie Woodhouse ... Third Lady
Rodney Clarke Rodney Clarke ... First Officer
Charne Rochford Charne Rochford ... Second Officer
Peter Wedd Peter Wedd ... First Armed Man
Keel Watson Keel Watson ... Second Armed Man
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Storyline

During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Flauta Mágica See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Kaiser reportedly lost thirty pounds between recording and shooting to fit the young romantic soldier look of Tamino. See more »

Quotes

Papageno: [singing] A birdman's work is never done/ From crack of dawn to set of sun,/ In unrewarded servitude/ He labours to protect his brood. /I feed and train my chirping pets, /I lay down traps and cast out nets,/ I speak in fluent 'Pigeonese' /And charm the birds right off the trees.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The overture to the opera is played both at the beginning and the end, but only at the end is it played over the film's credits. See more »

Connections

Version of The Magic Flute (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Closing Credits Music: Overture to 'The Magic Flute'
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conducted by James Conlon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Opera film magic!
8 April 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Now Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute is not my favourite opera film- then again this is a list that includes the 1976 film Tosca, Losey's 1979 Don Giovanni, Bergman's 1975 Magic Flute, Zeffirelli's 1982 La Traviata and 1986 Otello, Rossi's 1984 Carmen, Friederich's 1975 Salome and 1981 Elektra, and Ponnelle's 1982 Rigoletto, 1975 Le Nozze Di Figaro and 1981 La Cenerentola- but being someone who loves Mozart's opera I found myself very impressed by it.

It does look stunning visually. Despite the first world war setting, the film still maintains the opera fairy-tale feel, and the setting is evoked to poignant effect. On top of that, the costumes and sets do look beautiful, the effects dazzle and the cinematography shows a lot of skill. Mozart's music alone is worth the watch, with gems like the Overture, Papagaeno's Birdcatcher song, the Act 1 quintet, Dies Bildnis Ist Bezaubernd Schön, the duet between Pamina and Papagaeno, Ah Ich Fuhl, the Isis Und Osiris chorale, Der Halle Roche, In Diesen Heil'Gen Hallen, the scene between Pamina and the Three Boys and Papagaeno and Papagaena's duet, it is one of his best scores. Stylishly played and conducted, the film is a musical treat.

Stephen Fry's writing I quite liked, a lot of it is very witty and poetic. There are a couple of scenes where the writing doesn't quite work, such as in Sarastro's Isis Und Osiris, but overall I was entertained. The story, although the librettos of Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni are perhaps stronger and more compelling, is still powerful and moving to me, if missing some of the themes of the opera to make it even more gripping(ie. the whole Masonic idea). Of the characters, I was thrilled by Queen of the Night and Sarastro is noble and firm. However I was disappointed with Monostatos. Now here is a character that can either way, from overplayed, under-characterised or just right, and is perhaps the opera's most controversial character. But this is perhaps for me the first time where Monostatos' role is somewhat pointless.

Of the leads, Lyubov Petrova is the dramatic standout in a thrilling, hard-edged and often chilling performance as the fiendishly challenging role of Queen of the Night, especially with those eyes. Vocally, I have to say Rene Pape stood out by a mile. Not only is his Sarastro firm, noble and also comforting, but his voice is one of the warmest and most beautiful basso voices of recent times. He alone makes Isis Und Osiris worth watching, though as I've said I don't consider the scene in this film among the best versions of that aria, but I actually found In Diesen Heil'Gen Hallen to show off his vocal and character strengths more effectively.

Benjamin Jay Davis is a fun and charming Papagaeno, and Silvia Moi is suitably pert in the role of Papagaena. Together, they(and the older version of Papagaena) are a hoot. Joseph Kaiser is a dashing and not too stiff Tamino, and Amy Carson's Pamina is radiant and moving. These two really convince together. The Three Ladies are wonderfully kinky, the Three Boys shine with their simple charm and the chorus work is very well balanced. Branagh on the whole directs beautifully, I could tell even by the interviews and featurette of this Magic Flute that he had put a lot of thought and care into the film. It shows.

All in all, a very good, well sung and acted and magical film. I personally don't consider it the best version or production of the opera that I've seen(2003 Covent Garden, 1978 Glyndebourne, 1982 Salzburg, 1975 Bergman film and 1971 Peter Ustinov-directed version) and it is not perfect, but for any opera or Kenneth Branagh fans it is worth watching. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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