Newest Review: ... on the basis of it being a musical. I personally love musicals and of the opinion that the emotions conveyed through song are just as- i... more
Oh what a treat
Date: 14/09/00, updated on 18/11/02 (13 review reads)
Advantages: Suberb musical with great casting
When I was a schoolgirl (no, not THAT long ago cheeky!) one of my fondest moments came when I was chosen to be in the school play. That may not seem like a big deal, but at the time it really was to me. You see, the school play that year was a musical - Evita to be exact, and for someone as tone-deaf as I was, and still am, it was such a thrill to be chosen. Not for me though the heady heights of playing the lead role, nope - I was a peasant confined to the darkest parts at the back of the stage, out of earshot of most of the audience. I really envied the girl that played the lead role, and for the first, and last, time in my life I really wished I could have been someone else (well, apart from the notable exception of lottery winners!). But just being involved at all in the production made me feel ten feet tall, and led to a lifelong love of the musical Evita.
So imagine my delight when I discovered that the musical was to be made into a movie, I was ecstatic. I had my doubts about whether my all time favourite musical could make the transition from stage to screen, but I was not to be disappointed. What a wonderful transition it really was.
The story is the true story of Eva Duarte (later Peron), a poor Argentinian girl, who through dogged determination became one of the most loved and respected figures in Argentine history. The underlying story is probably as near to being factually correct as is reasonable to expect. Certainly some parts of the story have been spruced up a bit, firstly for the stage and later for the movie. But this is entertainment and not a history lesson so I think they have done rather well in keeping the core of the story intact. Since this is an opinion on the film I won't delve any further into the history, but it is a fascinating story if you ever have time to read it.
The musical itself was created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, with the transition to screen being produced by Alan Parker. I am a big
fan of Parker at the best of times, but he really has excelled himself with this one. The casting is superb with Madonna playing the role of Eva, Antonio Banderas magnificently playing the narrator Che and Jonathon Pryce superb in the role of Eva's husband Juan Peron. There are also appearances by Jimmy Nail and Andrea Corr among a cast of thousands.
I have never been in Argentina, and being a young pup I certainly wasn't there during the 1930's and 40's, so I really don't know how authentic the set was. Much of the movie was shot on location in Hungary, which I am assured is as close as they could get to the Argentina of the time. But I don't suppose that matters too much anyway because it certainly looked the part.
The music itself is superb as it always is from the pen of Lloyd Webber and Rice. Even if you have never seen the stage show, or watched the movie, I am sure you will be familiar with some of the songs. The classic 'Don't cry for me Argentina' and 'Oh what a circus' are two that spring immediately to mind. These two will always be favourites but the rest of the music is equally as good.
I will stop droning on now because I am sure you know exactly what I think of this movie by now. If you like musicals at all and haven't seen Evita then I strongly urge you to do so. It is said that Madonna was born to play the part and I thoroughly agree .... but how I wish it could have been me.