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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Cyrano (2021)

Who doesn't appreciate a good love story, and is this not one of the greatest ones ever told? My favourite version prior to the appearance of Joe Wright's Cyrano was the 1990 version starring an irascible and verbose de Bergerac in the form of massively hootered Gerard Depardieu.

Peter Dinklage is a singular talent and suited here like very little else you might rightfully imagine and Joe Wright's skill in creating period worlds in which to place classical characters is well-renowned already, with the likes of Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina only a few of the well-loved tales he has masterfully re-created for the screen and Cyrano is really no different in this regard.

Almost predictable, you could argue, in fact.

Whilst this is a new musical version, the story is still the same. A mans' pursuit of a woman, that he wants so badly as to employ an element of subterfuge in order to convince her of his love. Doubtless if you're watching or planning on doing so, you already know the story, but you should know this maybe isn't as sharp and witty as Depardieu's version and at times early in the film reminded me more closely of Moulin Rouge than anything else.

Yet for all the bawdy theatrics, this becomes something else indeed and Wright's Cyrano takes a slightly darker tone, particularly in regard to Ben Mendelsohn's De Guishe and his focus on securing Roxanne for himself. Beautifully realised, we cannot argue that Wright has set a glorious scene but lacks the 'thud' and 'oomph' of the 1990 project, which was much more heavy handed, where this is perhaps a little too delicate for some palates.

The object of affection, Roxanne, at the heart of this outpouring of love by more men than she could handle or is even aware of is played by Haley Bennett that I last saw in Swallow last year and to be fair, she does about as good a job as she is able, but you might reach the end wondering if the casting was maybe a little off kilter for Roxanne as it was so on the money with Cyrano himself.


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