Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cyrano de Bergerac

1990 by Jean Paul Rappeneau

Cyrano is the captain of a military unit, but he is more known as an excellent poet, with a long nose. Cyrano has some inferiority complex because of his nose, but he pretends otherwise. He is madly in love with his cousin, Roxanne, but thinks he is too ugly for her. Roxanne is mad about poetry and actually would love an ugly poet rather than a beautiful man without words. Cyrano doesnt know this and he realises Roxanne is attracted to Christian, a new recruit to his unit. Christian is dynamic and beautiful, but he is not able to talk about love to Roxanne who adores poetry. Cyrano offers help and writes love letters for Christian, which makes Roxanne fall for Christian, that they get married soon. The war with Spanish brokes out and both Cyrano and Christian has to go to the battle field. Cyrano arrives in the field with food for soldiers and Christian dies after a serious injury. After 14 yesrs, Roxanne still lives in a convent, mourning, and Cyrano regularly visits her but never reveals the secret that Roxanne is mourning over his poetry. Cyrano is seriously injured, on his way to the convent, and only moments before his death, does Roxanne would know the truth.

This movie, set in the 17th C France, should easily find a place in any list of best movies of all time.

There are many great romantic movies, but this one is really unique. 99% of the dialogues are like poetry, very rhythmic. It is brilliant that we can feel the poetry even in the English subtitle. I can imagine how much French speakers might have been moved by this movie and its poetic dialogues.

Cyrano is a brilliant character. Expert on both sword and poetry, he can make anybody fall for him with his talents. But he just cant make him believe that woman, even somebody as beautiful as Roxanne, might not care for the physical beauty. Roxanne even fell unconscious reading one of his letters. And his duel in the opening scene, fighting both with sword and words, I would say, is one of the most brilliant scenes in world cinema ever. It is just better that the dialogues here are poetic too. That scene alone can win awards for Gerard Depardieu, the camera man and the director. Brilliant.  

Gerard Depardieu makes one of the most amazing performances ever in movie history. What an actor. This must have been a great experience for this man.

I am almost sure that French Period movies are much much better classics than the most popular Hollywood ones. And their cinematography is brilliant. I must repeat that the cinmatography in this movie is simply brilliant.

A brilliant Romantic drama (sad, though) with the most beautiful performances, settings, costumes, cinematography and direction.