Cyrano – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Joe Wright
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin, Ben Mendelsohn
Released Friday 25th of Feb
The story of Cyrano de Bergerac has been adapted many times over the 125 years since Edmond Rostand wrote the original play, so it is unlikely you are not familiar with the premise. But just in case… it tells the story of a lovelorn soldier who is also a gifted poet. However, he has a large nose which he feels impedes him from declaring his love for Roxanne. Instead, he helps his fellow soldier Christian win her heart by writing love letters for him and even dictating romantic musings that he can share with the beauty.
Here Dinklage takes the titular role and forgoes wearing a prosthetic nose, as his stature is the impediment to declaring his feelings. This is based on the 2018 stage musical adaptation of the same name, but it isn’t all jazz hands and tap dancing. Rather the music feels very organic in keeping with Cyrano’s poetic speech patterns and the formal language of the era this is set in.
Both Dinklage and Bennett appeared in the stage version, so they have had time to develop their chemistry and become familiar with the roles and it shows. They are both extremely engaging. I’m not surprised that Dinklage has been nominated for several best actor awards. Harrison Jr is also impressive as Christian and Mendelsohn is extremely menacing as the evil De Guiche. Also, look out for Glen Hansard who has a small role as a soldier (and yes, he does get to sing).
Visually stunning with extremely lavish sets and costumes, the cinematography is wonderful. This is a true feast for the eyes. At times it is a little bit uneven which may be a result of adapting it from the stage where the pacing is different. However, it is delightful and will captivate you from start to finish. Even if you’re familiar with the story of Cyrano this feels like a fresh take on it. A wonderfully whimsical way to spend two hours.