Carmen - A Hip Hopera
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Carmen: A Hip Hopera (DVD)
Destiny's Child's sultry songstress Beyoncé Knowles (Austin Powers in Goldmember) plays the seductive Carmen Brown in the first hip-hop opera ever produced. CARMEN: A HIP HOPERA retells Georges Bizet's classic opera Carmen in a contemporary, urban setting, where the drama plays out in verse and the songs convey raw emotions. Mekhi Phifer, Reagan Gomez-Preston and recording artists Mos Def (aka Dante Beze), Wyclef Jean, Lil' Bow Wow and Da Brat also star in this edgy, provocative tale of two ill-fated lovers.]]>
Recasting Bizet's classic opera as a musical tale in the 'hood, Carmen: A Hip Hopera proves that the plot's not the thing. By retaining the story but jettisoning Bizet's individual musical numbers that propel the tragedy to its inevitable conclusion, this Carmen founders on familiarity: it's just another soap opera about two lovers whose tryst proves fatal. Occasionally, the music quotes Bizet's famous themes, but most of the rapping and singing sound interchangeable. What makes this Carmen worth seeing, however, is the scintillating performance of Beyoncé Knowles (of the trio Destiny's Child) in the lead role. From her first entrance in a dazzling red gown, Knowles shows off a vibrant, magnetic personality; the camera loves her, as her group's many music videos have shown, but they only hint at how impressively she holds the screen. Can she act? The jury's still out, but Carmen: A Hip Hopera--however disappointing this hybrid is in most ways--showcases a compelling movie-star presence. --Kevin Filipski
- "The Making of Carmen: An MTV Special"
- Scene and song access
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Top customer reviews
I'ma be honest with you. I rated this 4 stars because of nostalgia, and my love for Queen Bey. It might actually warrant only 2. The lyrics will leave you baffled: "Ayo I came from the projects/ Now I want the condos/ Tryna be a star/ And now you messin' up my cosmos" (ugh) and the acting is...yeesh. Oooh BUT for a fun drinking game - take a shot every time Joy Bryant shows up dressed in something camo (this was the early 2000s, after all). Mom-drunk on wine is a really good mood to be in when you watch this. If you're a Beyhive stan and want to add this to your library, go for it. If you're reeeeaaaally curious at how a urban re-telling of the Carmen opera looks like, also go for it. Otherwise....I think there are clips on YouTube?