For all the emphasis and focus Cyrano places on the act of careful word crafting and sophisticated arrangements I walk away from it with one simple word clearly stuck in my mind, that word being ‘charming’. The film is an accessible and enjoyable final product made from the strong foundations of its character writing, production and music with the occasional odd decision such as the perplexing rap number the main character is introduced with as he berates 2 nobles while showcasing his swordsmanship. Oddities aside Cyrano is a competent offering for the majority of its duration and is occasionally elevated into a dazzling spectacle at some proud high moments.
The cast of performances is a strong mixture of varied personalities with the obvious highlight being Peter Dinklage embodying the charismatic lead with a clear love for the role and the messages the unassuming swordfighter/ poet carries. His performance outshines his co stars but they are not without merit in themselves. The culmination being a group more than capable of achieving the splendour, heartbreak and raw emotion needed to pull off Cyranos emotional moments when needed.
Arguably the film’s strongest asset is the well realised and immersive production which blends the scale of Wright’s ambitious musical numbers with pampered wigs, rosy cheeked makeup and lavish layers of silk, making a consistently impressive and well realised world of light hearted exaggeration.
The cinematography on the whole was rather generic but not without its standouts in the numerous musical number which offered an impressive level of scale and cinematic importance; the grim atmosphere of the impending doom that lay on the war front which seeps into the air around a group of worried soldiers, or my favourite, the instances of letters flying through the streets and halls during the films best musical sequence, an excessive yet wildly enjoyable flourish. These flourishes are scattered through the entire film and led to consistently interesting visual experience.
An aspect of the film that unfortunately consistently lost me was the poor editing which stretched out the film in many areas. Alongside this would be the screenplay which coupled with the editing felt either too drawn out at points or undeveloped. Aspects that could have further fleshed out Cyranos foundational love triangle felt undercooked while I distinctly remember certain sequences or scenes stretching out past their welcome.
The biggest victim of the unfocused story direction would be the relationship between Cyrano and Christian. A dynamic that could have been effective at expanding the story in an effective way was reduced to a flimsy plot vehicle for Cyrano the character to graciously glide through the film in. Unlike the other 2 relationships in the 3 way triangle that the film is built on Christian and Cyranos interactions don’t hold nearly the amount of weight and urgency that they should. It’s a bond that stumbles into existence without resistance and continues to exist as a half formed framework brimming with potential for the rest of the runtime. Compared to the comparatively engaging and well realised bonds its left as the weakest link in an otherwise strong chain.
Cyrano is at its best in it’s impressive musical numbers and the moments of grand emotional cartartisism. It’s a pleaser crowd pleaser that occasionally goes over the handlebars of restraint to mixed result however for every shaky cam action scene it throws at you there’s always a powerful music number, the intriguing love story and plethora of captivating performances around the corner.
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