Ron Howard’s straightforward, lionizing documentary on the virtuoso Italian tenor who died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer is most precious for his musical genius throughout many a concert hall and opera house as he rang the ears of so many with his high C’s.
Pavarotti may not really probe very deeply when it comes to the man behind the voice, drama, and legend, but you see how he was like a rock star especially in the latter half of his career, arguably one of the most beloved figures of the 20th Century. From Paul Crowder’s efficient editing Luciano can be larger than life, yet also on the verge of tears when portraying a clown. Stills of a wondrous, flawed individual often hirsute, sometimes not would indicate an extroverted, affectionate presence.
The acclaimed auteur of Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, and the fine documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week works well with his scribe and contributors to dole out interesting archival material and notable visits/interviews his two wives, including Adua Veroni, his producer, and his manager, not to mention pundits. A boat ride with his posse to the “middle of nowhere” on the Amazon to a Brazilian venue is a captivating opening instead of what would likely be a more major metropolitan setting.
Yes, the movement is apace for the many performances of an amazing artist whose sold in the vicinity of one hundred million albums with a little background going into the talking heads helpful. There are words from his rivals Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras who would unite with Pavarotti on stage as ‘The Three Tenors.’ His numerous charities especially included Bosnian children afflicted by war as a sequence depicts Sarajevo being bombed.
His pearly whites were on display when being around such luminaries like Princess Diana who didn’t have a great hair day during a downpour when spectators closed their umbrellas providing a better sightline. Cajoling Irish rock star Bono also provides for some amusing banter in a way that exudes his fondness for so many. Daughters Cristina, Giuliania, and Lorenza can attest to the fact their father wasn’t a wonderful family man to them and their mother based on his lifestyle when touring was a big part of his life and would find solace with someone nearly thirty-five years his junior after a dalliance with a soprano singer.
Even though Pavarotti isn’t as involving as it should be, Howard knows how to embrace intimate moments from arias to love and tenderness over time to show the man who would have a big belly had a heart to match it creating momentous, operatic occasions for multitudes from his passion for stalwarts like Puccini and Verdi. It all must look and feel primitive to a millennial group. But, even if they glimpsed a highlight or two from a contract provider perhaps they might notice a little sublime aura that was powerfully absorbing to numerous orchestra conductors