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1) The character of Ché was always meant to be a nemesis to Evita, but not the real character as such . In the stage production that I saw, it was a man with the typical beret and machine gun singing to the side of the action. It would have been ridiculous and historically inaccurate to portray Ché as such in the movie version. Ché Guevara was still a medical student when Eva died. I think it is very effective to blend Ché into various characters because it represents the silent and not so silent opposition to the Perón Revolution. The only time the two characters meet for real interaction is when Evita is having delusions. The song argued in that moment perfectly clashes Ché's "idealism" with Evita's "realism." Ché is always there in some form, yet Evita is oblivious to his presence, brushes him off with a quick lyric or purposely chooses to ignore him. This adds a metaphysical dimension to the plot as if Evita were increasingly self-justifying her growing power as a simple tool to help the impoverished.
2) The soundtrack to the movie is not an operatic stage version but the songs are presented using the operatic techniques of repetition. This was done on purpose, not due to a lack of creativity.
3) When I saw this off off broadway, the people that were with me were straining to understand the singing beside the fact that they had no idea about the history of post WWII Argentina. I don't think they enjoyed it as much as they wanted to let on.
4) Madonna sings very well and is completely understood.Read more ›
I'm not a fan of Madonna, I find Andrew Lloyd Webber's music a bit obvious .. and yet -- and yet. Here everything seems to come together. It's a visually gorgeous film, the added songs (The Lady's Got Potential, You Must Love Me) are strong enhancements. The Che character's change from Che Guevara in the stage version to an Argentine Everyman here (desk clerk, bartender, cabinet minister, union activist) is an improvement over the stage musical and Antonio Banderas is a smoldering presence who carries the movie. Jimmy Nail is perfect as the oily tango singer; Jonathan Pryce capable in an equally slick role as the would-be, but hesitant, dictator. The montage songs are splendid, like Goodnight and Thank You, that bucket-brigade sequence of Eva's lovers that she uses (and the film uses) to get her from the street to the Casa Rosada, or like A New Argentina, in which Eva takes Juan from jail to the presidency. The faux-English country house lawn where Eva faces down upper-class disdain (Peron's Latest Flame, The Actress Hasn't Learned the Lines You Like to Hear) is another brilliant staging. It all rings true, visually.
I've had others tell me the lyrics seemed shallow. "Don't cry for me, Argentina, and don't forget to get milk and bread at the store ... " Well, yes. That's the point. She didn't say much more than that. Banality often suffices in public life; politics are shtick in a media age; actors can leverage elections. The lady couldn't act but she could, as others have said, seduce a nation. She won't be the last actor to do so.
Recommend owning the DVD for the cinematic values at the very least. It's a dark vision of public affairs but the times probably affirm it. And it was the best role of Eva's lifetime. And Madonna's.
So how good an ADAPTION is this? Very good indeed. The story was changed to very effectively fit the medium. Madonna stretched herself unbelievably to do this role, and I think she did very well. You may quite validly prefer the stage version of Evita (I like both), but its almost like apples and oranges. As good as Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin were, they would, if they played it the same way anyway, come off mannered and absurd in a movie context. All the conventions of the stage would be laughable. (unless it was simply, of course, an actual filmed stage production). On the other hand, Madonna and Banderas are not nearly strong and polished enough for a stage. Most of the changes (a few I don't understand), make a lot of sense, when you consider how a movie has to flow.
As for this movie not being deep or historical, its a musical for Pete's sake, not "Saving Private Ryan." I don't know enough about Eva Peron to really say, but I don't see how you could present a real historical drama in a musical context. I think the problem is people don't like or understand opera, which this essentially is. Most of the great operas have ludicrous story lines!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie, the price was right, and the DVD plays perfectly, so I am a very happy customer.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
I recently say a stage production of Evita and had never seen the movie. The movie was excellentPublished 1 month ago by Charles M. Dashiell, Jr.
I saw Evita probably six or seven times on Broadway -- mostly with Deren Altay, who was magnificent. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steffan B. Aletti