Film Review – Cyrano (2021)

Title – Cyrano (2021) 

Director – Joe Wright (Atonement) 

Cast – Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Mendelsohn 

Plot – Set in 17th century Paris, misunderstood and underestimated wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac (Dinklage) helps fellow solider Christian (Harrison Jr.) gain the affections of the beautiful Roxanne (Bennett), the woman Cyrano is too afraid to express his own affections to. 

“My dearest friend, I will be very angry with you if you die”

Review by Eddie on 13/07/2022

One of 2021’s most curious box office bombs, Joe Wright’s adaptation of hit musical Cyrano may’ve nabbed mostly positive reviews, harboured a talented cast of industry veterans and up and comers and featured music performed and written by renowned band The National but Wright’s film failed to make a mark anywhere around the world on its way to a dismal box office haul of just over $6 million dollars off a budget in excess of $30 million. 

Still managing to score multiple nominations at various awards ceremonies around the world, including a sole Oscar nomination for its impressive costumes, Cyrano certainly feels like a prestigious movie and as you would expect from the names attached there’s some fairly solid acting performances here (even if some of the musical efforts are slightly questionable) but despite its pretty backdrop and prestigious feel, Cyrano is unable to come to terms with its true self as its dramatic and musical notes fail to combine in a way that would have allowed the tale of Dinklage’s Cyrano de Bergerac unfortunate in love wordsmith to really soar as both a dramatic exercise and competent musical. 

It’s not to say Wright’s musical effort is bereft of solid numbers, key piece Someone to Say and the heartbreaking Wherever I Fall (with a nice cameo from Once legend Glen Hansard) provide fine cinematic and musical moments respectively, but overall Cyrano never feels like its a true musical and with that never in turn is allowed to be the more straight forward love story it could’ve successfully been without the odd sprinklings of songs, many of which include some fairly amateurish and unnecessary choreography.  

With the distracting interludes frequenting the story of Cyrano helping Kelvin Harrison Jr’s fellow French solider Christian woo the woman he in turn loves Roxanne (played by Wright’s real life wife Haley Bennett) much of the films goodness comes from the performances of its lead trio with Dinklage getting to do some of his best work on the big screen since the dawn of his Game of Thrones era while Harrison Jr once more impresses here, even if in a cast sense its disappointing to once more see the talented Ben Mendelsohn agree to do work underneath him as films main but utterly underused villain De Guiche. 

Continuing on a trend as a director that often finds Wright flying between greatness with projects such as Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, the middle-tier such as Hanna and Darkest Hour and the downright bad with efforts we’d rather forget like The Woman in the Window and Pan, Cyrano is not an offensively bad attempt at a big screen movie musical that tugs on the heartstrings but you would be hard pressed to walk away from this effort feeling like its an undeniable success in any of its various attempts. 

Final Say – 

Unable to find the balance between its storytelling, character building and musical foundation, Cyrano is well made and mostly well acted but its a cold big screen outing unlikely to find much fandom in the future years. 

3 intense bakeries out of 5  

4 responses to “Film Review – Cyrano (2021)

  1. Good review. I still haven’t seeing this movie yet, but I do plan on seeing it. I’ve heard mixed opinions on it. Some love it, while others just thought it was okay.

    • I do think in the right circumstances this could’ve been amazing. This version is watchable but there’s some major pieces of the puzzle that feel as though they are missing.
      E

  2. It is a shame when a decent movie flops at the box office, but are there enough people that want to see a musical on the big screen that they believe they’ll make money on it? I grew up going to Casa Manana (a round stage theater) so I love musicals, but I think the last non-kid one I saw at the movie theater was Grease in 1977 when my mom dragged me there at 9 years old. With the cost of going to see a flick, like most people we have to be selective and my money goes to King Kong, Godzilla, Top Gun, Independence Day, etc. Thanks for the review, I’ll watch this but only streamed, which is probably where it should have been released.

    • This one would have been far better suited to a high profile streaming release. I am still a little shocked at how poorly it did with all the talent involved but then again the finished product isn’t really worthy of much jumping up and down.
      E

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