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DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA
Member Name: PRINCESSPUSSYCAT
Date: 22/02/08, updated on 22/02/08 (116 review reads)
Advantages: A spectacular film
Disadvantages: A Musical
Evita is adapted from the stage musical by the same name written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is based on the true story of Argentina's first lady Eva Peron. Released in 1996 it falls under the genre Biography/Musical/Drama. Starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas, and Jonathan Pryce. Directed by Alan Parker, it spans the life and events of Evita and President Juan Peron. -
An interesting story of the young woman Eva Duarte (Madonna), poor and struggling in the lower class, poverty stricken backstreet's of Argentina. Using her feminine wiles, she plots and fights her way out of the gutter to build herself a life of luxury. Using men as her strategic plan she works her way to the top, discarding lovers, as she steps onto the next rung of the social ladder, till she is finally at the top of her tree, when she sets her sights on the leader of Argentina. I love this film. I like the way the songs depict the story, as in the musical, and they step in at the very right moment, and complete that section of the film.
The film charts the life of Eva Duarte from a young child. Eva had a traumatic experience when she was young, when she tries to attend her fathers funeral. His second wife bans her and her family from attending, because they are lower class, and this is a profound, and distressing moment in the young life of Eva. Determined to escape the poverty and all it's social stigmas, when she is older, she sets herself a plan to sleep her way to the top. Using men as her stepping stones to the future.
When she reaches the age of fifteen she leaves her home town of Junin and travels to Buenos Aires with a singer with whom she is having an affair. When someone else comes along with more influence and power, she drops her lover without a moments hesitation. This shows the determination and drive of her character, which is to reach her ultimate goal, and to be accepted , and welcomed by the upper classes. The song she first sings when she discards her singer who has brought her to Buenes Aries is; 'Another suitcase, another hall', and this song sums up perfectly, and with tongue firmly in cheek, the manipulative route that she has planned. Then each time, after that, when she drops another lover, to move up in the echelon, this song comes in once again.
Madonna is fantastic in this role, and I forgot immediately who I was watching. When I went to see this film when it was first shown, I wasn't too keen on the fact that she was playing the main part, and I would have preferred a more serious actress in the role. But I have to say, she was tremendous in the part of Eva. A much better choice than say Michelle Pfeiffer, who I feel would have been much too weak in the part. Or even Barbara Streisand, Glen Close or Olivia Newton John, who were rumored to be up for the role, none of which I feel have the strength of character to have fulfilled the portraying of such a strong character. And as it stands Madonna was a perfect choice, and she did much PR to ensure herself a stab at the role. People thought Madonna was a ridiculous choice, but I have to say she has proved us all wrong. Her quality of acting was superb, and she portrayed the ruthless, determined Eva Peron with a great flair, and honesty. Madonnas voice holds up well, and I feel her vocal range was just right, without sounding too operatic.
This was a case of the woman behind the man of power, and she advised him every step of the way, to ensure he reach the pinnacle of his career. She was the Argentina's sweetheart. The Argentinian people could see themselves in her, and identify, and they shared an affinity, because she herself had come from a working class background, and the people looked up to her with a huge pride and passion. A modern day comparison could be Princess Diana, when the wife is more important as a spiritual figure to the people, rather than the leader of the country. This is a strong film with a powerful storyline. Some critics have viewed this film as portraying the glorification of fascism, but I think the political angle was just right. The film centres mainly on the rags to riches story of Eva Duarde, and her journey along the way. It is a film about the strength of the woman, and what ends can be obtained from sheer determination.
Anthonio Banderes was brilliant as Argentinean dissident Che Guevara, and also as the narrator throughout the film. He brings a great humour and depth of character to the role, and Jonathan Pryce as Juan Perón, was excellent, and I felt an empathy towards the dictator. He portrayed the human qualities of the man in power, in a quiet reserved fashion. Yet held his ground, with a subdued strength, and his performance stood on a par to that of Madonna. I found his portrayal of the character to be very believable, and finely acted. Darius Khondji's cinematography was superb, capturing the authentic feel of the era, which was perfectly recreated in fine detail. Evita is a fantastic cinematic experience, the choreography is amazing. Dancing in Evita is only shown when it is in context, and the dancing in this film was truly superb, from the Flamenco to the Tango. Every step was beautifully choreographed, and in keeping with the time.
A lot of the film was shot in Argentina, and the song 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' was actually filmed on the balcony of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires. The production was conveyed in a very realistic form, and the fact that there was not too much dancing added to it's realism, and the dancing in this film was visually amazing! The songs include You Must Love Me - Madonna Don't Cry for Me, Argentina - Madonna Another Suitcase in Another Hall - Madonna Buenos Aires - Madonna. As taken from the musical by the same name.
Alan Parkers direction is excellent!, and this is a spectacular epic of a film. One of the best movie musicals that have been produced to date. It is a splendid film, lavish and beautiful to watch. The architecture is visually stunning, and has remained virtually untouched for centuries. The musical score is tremendous, in fact everything about this film is excellent, and if you haven't seen it already, I recommend you do. -
'Following the success of the film, the government of Argentina released its own film biography of Peron, entitled "Eva Perón," to correct alleged distortions in the Lloyd Webber account'.
Running time is 134 minutes.
BBFC rating is: PG for images
of violence and mild language.
Directed by Alan Parker
Produced by Alan Parker
Written by Alan Parker
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Thank you for reading.
Summary: An epic film from all aspects.