The classic tale of romance and secret unrequited love Cyrano De Bergerac has had many incarnations that have included Gerard Depardieu and even Steve Martin in the title although we’re sure that our Editor is convinced that the role was updated and played by John Nettles in a 1980’s Saturday night TV detective series set in Jersey (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). Cyrano is a brilliant poet convinced of his ugliness – previously it’s been a large nose but is easily adapted for other physical or mental afflictions and here it is dwarfism though it can’t be long before someone comes up with a ginger Cyrano who falls in love with a sunbed salon owner. This incarnation of the famous tale of romance has been written by Erica Schmidt the wife of Peter Dinklage and his wonderfully expressive face who plays the role.
Set in 17th century Paris, Cyrano, or Sur-rin-o as its pronounced here, beside his brilliance with words is also an excellent swordsman and by that we don’t mean in the same way as talent vacuum Calum Best who himself has been involved in a fair few fights though mostly with evolution. Cyrano has fallen for Roxanne (Holly Bennett), something that he keeps secret from her afraid of rejection. Frustrated he finds himself pouring out his words of love to her through nobleman Christian (Kelvin Harrsion Jr) who lacks the Cyrano’s command of the language of love to woo her. With much of the dialogue initially in rhyming couplets its Dinklage who carries the emotional heft of the film desperately yearning for Roxanne but only able to communicate his feelings through an unknowing Christian. Cyrano is forced to watch from the wings as Roxanne and Christian’s romance flourishes leaving him ever more frustrated and alone.
Directed by Joe Wright this is beautifully photographed with production design to match. It’s only the musical numbers which disappoint, a common problem with modern musicals in that none of the tunes have ear worms and really the only stand out is ‘Heaven is where I fall’ played out in epic style on a tragic battle field as the soldiers go to war. Wright’s version of Cyrano is elegant and sensitive capturing the beauty of words and letter writing for a modern audience who regard an aubergine and liquid splash emoji as romance.
Watch the Cyrano trailer HERE