Film review of Cyrano 2021
By Céline La Frenière
It happens rarely that a motion picture is so nearly perfect that it blows one’s mind. Director Joe Wright, who is known for Pride & Prejudice and The Darkest Hour, has managed to accomplish this feat in a new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac.
The cleverly written screenplay by Erica Schmidt, which is based on her own stage musical, brings together visuals, music, poetry, and glamour that reignite this long-cherished story of passion, anger, and conspiracy between two men who are enamored with the same woman.
Charismatic Cyrano played by Peter Dinklage is secretly in love with his best friend the beguiling Roxanne played by Haley Bennett. Despite being endowed with superior intellect and charm, Cyrano does not dare declare his true feelings for Roxanne because he was born with dwarfism and he sees that as an insurmountable obstacle to being loved by the object of his desire. An opportunity presents itself when Roxanne becomes infatuated with a handsome soldier named Christian played with sincerity by Kelvin Harrison Jr. and the only way these two can woe each other is through correspondence. Christian is a good enough chap but he does not have the intellectual capacity to meet this challenge. Cyrano eagerly offers to write her letters on his behalf. Roxanne falls deeply in love with Cyrano’s heartfelt words of romance and passion, all the time believing that Christian wrote them. One is kept guessing as to who will end up with the girl.
Apart from the magnificent production and the brilliance of Joe Wright’s directing and his talented crew, all the actors, notably Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Ben Mendelsohn perform eloquently and to a very high standard. But the Jewel in the crown is Peter Dinklage whose light shines so brightly that he will surely be remembered as the definitive Cyrano forever after.