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Mamma Mia! (DVD)
Member Name: mummy2harry
Mamma Mia! (DVD)
Advantages: Great songs, well cast, enjoyable, fun, a great tribute to a great band and musical
Disadvantages: None at all
Mamma Mia is based on the musical of the same name, but translates the story into a film format, set on a Greek Island detailing the life of mother and daughter duo Sophie and Donna Sheridan. Sophie is about to marry Greek boyfriend Sky, but she doesn't feel it will be right without her father there. But the problem is that she doesn't know who her father is...and nor, seemingly, does her mother Donna! So with the help of her Mum's old diary, Sophie invites the 3 possible candidates without Donna knowing, and chaos ensues. Will it be Sam, Harry or Bill that will turn out to be Sophie's Dad? And is it going to be happy ever after for the Sheridan women after all?
I actually went to see the musical in the Prince Edward theatre in London for my 16th birthday a few years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it then so hoped that this movie adaptation would live up to my expectations! I love the music of Abba, I love Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, I love the musical so it was all looking good! My other half wasn't too keen on seeing it, but I insisted upon watching it with him, telling him my brother had loved it and he wasn't at all a fan of Abba or musicals! As the film began with Amanda Seyfried's sweet voice singing 'I Have A Dream', I was immediately feeling positive and gearing up for a great feel-good film!
The film got going quite quickly, which I felt was a good thing especially for those who weren't keen on seeing it in the first place! Amanda Seyfriend opens the film as leading girl Sophie and immediately charms the audienece with her sweet vocal performance and all American girl looks. I felt she took on the role of Sophie perfectly, and worked so well with Meryl Streep who played her mum Donna that you could almost believe they really were mum and daughter. Seyfried kept her energy and enthusiasm throughout the film, and really was a pleasure to watch, and was a great choice for Sophie. Streep was just amazing as Donna, and I hope she continues to receive many deserved awards for this fantastic performance! She really does give her all to all the song and dance numbers, from a cast ensemble song of Dancing Queen to the quieter yet far more striking and emotional rendition of my fave Abba song 'The Winner Takes It All'. I was blown away by her strong vocals, and you could see she enjoyed every single moment of the film, allowing the audience to enjoy it along with her!
The other main roles are taken on by Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth who play potential fathers Sam and Harry. Both actors are favourites of mine, so I was a bit nervous of seeing them in a musical role! Firth displayed his vocal "ability" first and did quite a good job, but when Brosnan opened his mouth...well it wasn't as bad as I had been led to believe! It was different to the calibre of Streep and Seyfried, but still okay nonetheless! The other standout performances came from the ever amazing and hilarious Julie Walters and Christine Baranski who play Donna's friends Tanya and Rosie. They were definitely the comic relief of the film and are just perfect in their roles. Walters is a star in closing number 'Take A Chance' and Baranski nearly had me crying with laughter in her fabulous take on 'Does Your Mother Know?'. They were just amazing and superb performers, and I loved every minute they were on screen, especially with Streep!
The score is fantastic and takes on the amazing Abba back catalogue perfectly. All of the hits you would expect to hear are in the film, from title song Mamma Mia, to Dancing Queen, to lesser known Honey, Honey and Slipping Through my Fingers which was an amazing emotional performance from Meryl Streep...I was welling up throughout that song! It modernises the classic hits but keeps the feeling of nostalgia, and you just cannot stop yourself singing along because its so catchy! The cast all have great voices and do all of the songs justice, none more so than the wonderful Ms Streep however. I expect all the Abba members will be proud of how their songs sound in this film, and how they will be reaching a further audience courtesy of it!
The film is set on a fictional Greek island, but is filmed on the beautiful islands of Skiathos and Skopelos which are both Greek islands. The small amount of scenery you see in the film is gorgeous, with a rich blue sea, rich foliage and a beaming sunshine, but in my opinion they just didn't show enough of it! You got glimpses throughout some of the bigger numbers but it just didn't give enough credit to the gorgeous surroundings at which they were filming. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the film in anyway but upon reflection, I do wish they'd taken care to bring the film to life through more scenic shots and glimpses of the beautiful locations.
As you can probably tell from my musings this far, I absolutely loved this film and cannot recommend it highly enough, whether you are a fan of musicals and Abba or not. I didn't expect my other half to like it that much, but he exclaimed he thought it was an 'amazing film' as the final credits rolled with Streep, Walters and Baranski belting out Super Trouper once more! The cast fits the bill perfectly and all give such energy and enthusiasm to their acting that you just can't help but catch the musical bug too! In the cold, bitter weather, it is the perfect film to sit and watch to warm up the cold evenings and have a good old singalong to the classic songs we all know and love so much. It does so much justice to both the songs and the musical and I'm not at all surprised that its been such a global success. It's definitely one of those films you have to see... I'm sure you'll love it! Simply brilliant!
Director: Phyllida Lloyd. Writer: Catherine Lloyd. Running Time: 108 minutes. Certificate: PG.
Available on Amazon for £12.98 (Jan. 2009)
Meryl Streep ... Donna Sheridan
Pierce Brosnan ... Sam Carmichael
Colin Firth ... Harry Bright
Stellan Skarsgård ... Bill Anderson
Julie Walters ... Rosie
Dominic Cooper ... Sky
Amanda Seyfried ... Sophie Sheridan
Christine Baranski ... Tanya
Ashley Lilley ... Ali
Rachel McDowall ... Lisa
Thank you for reading!
Summary: A superb musical for everyone