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
I'd be surprisingly good for you , but this film would only bore you to tears .
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Advantages: Visually stunning
Disadvantages: I have no idea what was going on most of the time.
** Potential Spoilers in this review, film only **
I'm a karaoke fan - and a massive fan of big musical show tunes, with one of my favourites to belt out being 'Don't cry for me Argentina'. Despite having belted out that song numerous times, I'd never seen the film until recently, when my boyfriend and I sat down to watch it .
The film charts Eva Duarte on her rise a childhood living in abject poverty, through to moving to Buenos Aires and embarking upon a string of affairs and an acting career, before meeting and marrying Peron and becoming the 'First Lady' or Argentina, and ends with her eventual death. I don't think that is really a spoiler , as the film actually begins with her death being announced in a movie theatre in the middle of a film.
I didn't know a thing about Argentine politics before watching this film, and I have to say that after 2 hours and fifteen minutes sat watching it, I was any the wiser . This may be due to not enough information being included in the film, but it could just as easily be down to the 'Why sing when you can speak' feel of the whole film . Now, I'm all for a musical, and I love a good show tune, but almost every word in this film was sung - not spoken.
This might have been a unique selling point had it been sung in some kind of memorable tune, but really it seemed like the most trivial little thing was being sung, throughout the film, in a kind of monotonous drone of a rhythm. In all honesty, after the first 30 minutes, I was bored out of my head, with only the sexy sexy Antonio Banderas keeping my attention.
Oh, he is a sexy sexy man, and actually a pretty good bit of casting. On the odd occasion when the movie did break out into a properly sing-a-longable number, he led almost as much as Madonna in the vocals, with his voice actually managing to be surprisingly musical whilst still portraying all the anger and emotion of the moment. His dark eyes flash rage as he sings about Eva letting down her country - and the film is certainly not hurt by the brief glimpses of him in a wet shirt . However, his thick accent did mean that at times I struggled to know what he was talking about, and I really think this affected my understanding of the film.
Madonna seemed well cast in the role, not least because she can pull of the glamour of the 1940's style outfits and hairstyles perfectly. I have to say, the costuming in this film is fantastic, as is the location selection - darkly atmospheric gaslit hallways, the blazing Argentinian sun, the glamorous old fashioned cars. Aesthetically, this film is very pleasing on the eye, and styled perfectly .
The odd real song, when it appeared, was generally quite good . There were quite a few almost rockish guitar moments, and some of the songs had soothing and soulful saxophone backing. I love Dont't Cry For Me, and
'Oh what a circus' , which is sung to the same tune, is also worth a listen . I also very much enjoyed "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" , a very sexy and flirtatious little number.
Overall, the actors in this film were good, with Antonio being incredibly easy on the eye . The actual songs were decent, and the costume and scenery selections were perfect . It's just a shame that the need to sing every syllable in a thick accent, often at speed, left me bewildered and not really knowing what was going on, and that sadly I failed to learn anything from a film that I hoped would at least teach me something about Argentine politics. As far as I can gather, she was born, she had some relationships with men, became famous, married a man who would later become president, and then died young. That is about as deep a grasp as I got .
Not a film I would recommend at all
Summary: Not one I can recommend.