Tuesday, 8 August 2017

MAMMA MIA! (2008) Directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters

Okay, here goes my street cred (if I ever had any). Some films exist completely outside the given parameters of "film art" and become "events" and whether you like them or not has little to do with the cinema. This is why people queue up for the sing-a-long showings of such films as THE SOUND OF MUSIC or THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. I was never an Abba fan back in the day but I have a strong affection for MAMMA MIA! for several reason, not all associated with its quality as a film. Firstly I have seen the film on DVD at least ten times because my late partner, who was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, during the final years of her life, loved music of all kinds and even at her most disturbed she could happily settle down an watch this with me. It was probably the last film she enjoyed and as it made her so happy it has a very special place in my heart. Secondly, ever since the days of the television series CYBIL I have adored Christine Baranski and will watch her in anything. Thirdly, the film does exactly what it says on the box. It isn't Bergman, Kurosawa or even Scorsese and certainly isn't Shakespeare but it was never intended to be. It is an entertainment, no more, no less and it is expertly put together by Phyllida Lloyd and her team. Of course, there are those who never quite get it - to use a phrase, they just don't hear the music. On the subject of music I am amazed at the criticism of the singing efforts of the stars of MAMMA MIA!, most of which has been aimed at Pierce Brosnan. Somebody even suggested that all the vocals should have been over-dubbed with the original Abba recordings! The only member of the cast with a musical theatre is Baranski but everybody does fine, very unrefined nature of the vocals fits perfectly the tone of the film. Sometimes it is enough to just have fun.. Rating ****

No comments: