What does the pain and disappointment of loving or liking someone who’s feelings are not reciprocated look like? Look no further than the classic tale Cyrano. Based on the stage musical adaption of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 verse drama Cyrano de Bergerac, Peter Dinklage reprises his role that he played on stage in 2018.
For those unfamiliar with the the tale or its subject, Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was a French author and playwright whose work was rooted in being devoid of most moral principles, responsibility, and/or sexual restraints during the first half of the 17th century. Oh yeah, and there was that nose which loomed larger than life itself. Rostand’s verse immortalized the rebel painting him as an incurable romanticist who yearned for the love of one woman, Roxanne (Haley Bennett), whose affection lies with Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.). It’s a tale that begs the question of have you ever loved someone madly and what did you do about it?
Fresh off of Game of Thrones, Dinklage owns every single engaging moment, sans prosthetic nose, giving audiences dulcet deep tones with oodles of charisma along the way. With Dinklage in the title role, audiences will be moved and reminded how much superficial importance society places how looks and how is is the heart and compassion of an individual that should matter the most. After watching Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in a variety of films over the past few years (Luce, Waves, Monster), it was nice to see him as the romantic lead devoid of angst and revealing more of his amazing artistic range. I kinda loved that Haley Bennett was not the classic brown or blonde-haired beauty associated with Roxanne, but would’ve loved to have seen Emmy winnder Jasmine Cephas Jones revive her stage performance for the screen. Monica Dolan as Marie was thoroughly entertaining and had me giggling out loud.
When the fast and furious opening scene with Marie, complete with some spectacular dueling choreography, one becomes very excited in anticipation of what is to come next. However, the pacing becomes a bit laborious and the score repetitive after a few songs here and there. My favorite musical moment occurs as the men are having letters collected to send off to loved ones knowing they will not make it out alive as they sing, “Heaven is where I fall…have you ever loved someone madly.” Having said that the production, costume, set and make-up design is absolutely beautiful so kudos to Sarah Greenwood, Massimo Cantini Parrini, Alessandro Bertolazzi and Sian Miller.
Often with these classics, we often watch an all white cast spinning the tales. It has been refreshing to see filmmakers like Joel Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth) and Cyrano’s Joe Wright reach outside the norm in their casting and methodology with sharing these stories. What a perfect end to wrap up the cinematic landscape for 2021. This film Produced by Bron, MGM and United Artists, Cyrano hit theaters on December 31st.