Thursday, 24 May 2012
Review on Evita
Based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Evita the movie portrays the story of Eva Peron (1921-52) (Madonna) an Argentine heroine. It begins in her early childhood as she gets refusal to her fathers funeral due to her lower class. Her childhood not being one of riches but of discrimination against her lowly birth (illegitimate child). This scene, then contrasted with her lavish funeral gives the audience an awareness of where this movie is leading. Thousands of people flock and follow her coffin as it is paraded through the streets.
The movie follows her love affair at the age of 15 with Agustin Magaldi (Jimmy Nail) who sings a repetative song with the help of his battered guitar. With his help she tries to become known as an actress, performer and public figure. It is rumoured and portrayed in the movie, that many men 'help' her during these years and have freely given her favours.
As the proud and seemingly handsome Juan Peron (Jonathan Pryce) steps onto the scene as an ambitious young army officer all changes. As love blossoms both are plummited into the limelight. Friends and enemies are made as Eva fights for the freedom of her people and focuses her attention not on the weathly but those of her similar background.
Working tiredlessly to help the poor she becomes their angel, their immortal savour. But her young death proves that even those who seem to fight against the unfightable, who can change the world and create such a large impact on such a wide audience, in the end... must fall.
Madonna's timeless portrayal of this Argentine angel shall be remembered for years to come. Her lavish hair styles and fancy costumes portray the female through her changing persona. Leaving her life as a poor illegitimate child to become the leader of the people. She may be known as a singer, but this role should not be forgotten quickly. Especially emotional is the death which she portrays, struggling to sing to Peron as she lay pale in her bed. Tears being held back as her shakey voice leads the audience to swallow the lumps in their throats.
Coupled with Antonio Banderas as 'Che', narrating throughout the entire movie, the pair seem to fit together like two peas in a pod. His ever changing character follows Evita through her life, singing from the viewpoint of the people. Even though Banderas doesn't have Madonna's vocal ability, he acquits himself well enough when it comes to singing, and his acting is the best that it's been since he parted ways with Pedro Almoldovar (after Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!).
The costumes and fashion would interest any female who endulges in diamonds and historic costume. The lavish dresses which she wears brings a sparkle to any females eye. To watch a girl who has nothing and lives in a life of discrimination grow to be such a strong woman, who leds her people and saves her Husband, is a truely inspirational story. And what makes it even more astonishing; Eva Peron was a real female. This is not a fiction fairytale, but instead a real life drama.
Some may argue that the lack of dialouge and constant singing ruins the emotion and feeling behind the story, but i beg to differ. I believe it is the complexity of emotions and sory telling which shines through the singing which makes the movie the wonder it is. I've seen it on stage, and it is the same. Song after song, the story flowing through dance and lyrics. As a comparison... it is more like The Who's Tommy then Singing in the Rain. So if 'real musicals' are not your thing, i suggest you stay away.
Yes I am bound to be bias as this is possibly my favourite musical but i'd recommend any musical lover to give it a try. To sit through the first 15 minutes of flashbacks and embrace the story of Eva Peron, told through the music wonders of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.