I came to Miss Saigon with little or no knowledge of what it was about or even who wrote it. The only reason I got the unexpected privilege of seeing this great film of a great musical was the recommendation of a friend, a fellow musical theatre buff, who recommended it to me. The Blu-ray disk apparently isn't available in the United States, so I bought it from Amazon.uk. I'm glad I did.
The show is deeply emotional and often very sad. I wasn't prepared for that so by the end of the night I had been worn out but worn out in a good way.
The show's four principal characters, The Engineer, Kim, Chris, and John were all played by talented actors who could both sing and act. I was particularly impressed by the then 18 year old Eva Noblezada, who played Kim. The show will be moving to Broadway in March with many of the actors who are in this filmed version.
In an early scene, Gigi (played by the wonderful Rachelle Ann Go), Kim, and the rest of the girls with whom they work, sing the haunting, "The Movie in my Mind." The 17 year old Kim, who is new sings,
"I will not cry, I will not think/ I'll do my dance, I'll make them drink/ When I make love, it won't be me/ And if they hurt me, I'll just close my eyes"
But the girls all hope to be rescued by an American GI from their desperate and dangerous lives. The song ends with Kim singing her own dream, of
"A world that's far away/ Where life is not unkind/ The movie in my mind"
There is a lot that is funny in the show too, primarily delivered by the cynical but wily Engineer. Alas, though, this is a show about loss, which I guess should be clear, as it is based on Puccini's tragic, "Madam Butterfly."
I cannot recommend the "Miss Saigon: 25th Anniversary" too highly. The film tells its dark and tragic story with beauty and elegance. Not to be missed!
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