A tale of one-sided affection is given a somewhat lavish, modern makeover by noted British director Joe Wright whose oeuvre includes Anna Karenina and Atonement.
His Cyrano is drawn from Edmond Rostand 1897 famed play and comes from the musical that initially played in East Haddam, Connecticut in 2018 before landing off-Broadway a year later. Back in the day Jose Ferrer won an Oscar for a role he originated on stage.
Having Peter Dinklage (Elf) in the lead role is a welcome part of a fable’s revitalization from a screenplay by his playwright missus Erica Schmidt who directed the well-received Nutmeg State production. As it manages noticeable emotion in a heartrending love triangle scenario amid a few decently staged action sequences.
So, a tragic, honorable figure resonates again in an observant way will an eloquence expressed in ardent, forged epistles with picturesque lensing on the isle of Sicily from Seamus McGarvey.
Because of his diminutive stature, a master swordsman and captain of the guard puts his humiliation aside for handsome, if inarticulate Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.). The object of the affection happens to be the lovely songstress in Roxanne, exacted with sincere ebullient by Haley Bennett (Wright’s off-screen partner). A promise is made bo this lovelorn childhood friend when war looms on a wintry horizon as well at Mt. Etna.
Dinklage has an edge to his Renaissance poet (the setting is moved back to the late 17th Century) with sensitivity to impress along with delighting in the language and wit to go along with it. Even if his vocals can’t muster up in the same vein what is peeled back in humanity in an oft, well-told story. The young soldier in Harrison, Jr., and luminous noblewoman in Bennett benefit in the respect especially from an early theatrical event.
While there is a harmony in a swooning romance from the music and lyrics provided by members of the alternative rock band The National, its brooding pines for unattainable emotion. Yet, the musical and vocal accompaniment involving France’s chronic wars involving Christian crescendos affectingly from what was sent home from the front lines before the major skirmish. Knowing how it wraps up really doesn’t detract much from a magical arguably timeless Cyrano.