Musical ‘Cyrano’ targets the heart and hits

The new movie Cyrano is a romantic and heartfelt musical that turned me into putty in his hands. Based on the timeless story of Cyrano de Bergerac – a man gifted with words but doomed to appear unconventional – it is the story of a heartbreaking and tragic love triangle. However, seeing the power of true love on screen also makes it one of the most uplifting movies to watch this holiday season.

When he learns that his friend and secret love, Roxanne, has fallen in love with another man, the talented silversmith Cyrano agrees to write him his love letters. Hiding his own feelings, he resigns himself to living a life where he hides his love. Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), Cyrano stars Peter Dinklage in the title role.

From stage to screen

The original story goes back to the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac ”, written by Edmond Rostand. Director Joe Wright Cyrano is based on the most recent play adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt (wife of Dinklage). Previous versions of the story make Cyrano’s comically long nose the tragic physical trait of his character. Still, the film uses Peter Dinklage’s short stature as an attribute that fuels Cyrano’s insecurities and society’s rebuke.

Peter Dinklage as Cyrano and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in Joe Wright’s Cyrano

For an open-heart romantic musical to work, the music has to be truly moving. And this score is. Written by The National (music written by Aaron & Bryce Dessner and lyrics by Matt Berninger & Carin Besser), CyranoThe soundtrack is dark and moving in a way fans of the group will recognize. The most radical song that is sure to stick with audiences is “Someone to Say”. It’s a heart-wrenching and beautiful song that’s been buried deep in my head since I saw it in the movie trailer.

Peter Dinklage captive

As the main character, Peter Dinklage captivates and controls the screen. It highlights its charm and brand spirit. But seeing him miss Roxanne as some sort of doomed “Phantom of the Opera” shows even more significance than we’ve seen of him before. His chemistry with Roxanne – the central romance of the film – is also uplifting and heartbreaking. Like Roxanne, Haley Bennett is wonderful. Her singing voice is magnificent, her character desirable and her character so pure.

Peter Dinklage as Cyrano in Joe Wright's Cyrano

Peter Dinklage as Cyrano in Joe Wright’s Cyrano

To complete the cast, Kelvin Harrison Jr. as a young Christian. Like the one Roxanne falls in love with, at first glance, her role is delicate. Christian has to play the “silly piece” that needs Cyrano’s words, but also someone we connect with and sympathize with. And Harrison Jr. performs well on both sides, with a lovely singing voice too. The real villain role is reserved for Ben Mendelsohn. As the powerful De Guiche, Mendelsohn strives to banish Cyrano and Christian from Roxanne – whom De Guiche himself is about to marry – by sending them into a war that hangs over the country.

A heartbreaking love story

If there’s anyone who knows how to make a passionate romantic period film, it’s Joe Wright. Her most recent love stories Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007) are among the most recent classic love stories in modern cinema. Although Cyrano is his first musical, Wright knows how to create a heartbreaking love story and make it resonate with audiences. With exceptional performances by Dinklage and Bennett, as well as the moving score of The National, Cyrano moved me in all the right ways.

Haley Bennett as Roxanne in Joe Wright's Cyrano

Haley Bennett as Roxanne in Joe Wright’s Cyrano

Finally, I absolutely recommend Cyrano fans of musicals, period films or fans of great romantic dramas. Fans of Joe Wright, Peter Dinklage or The National will also find their happiness Cyrano. It’s an accomplished film and a respectable musical. And it’s sure to resonate in your head and heart long after you’ve watched.

2h 4m. ‘Cyrano’ is rated PG-13 for strong violence, thematic and suggestive material, and brief language. In select theaters on January 21, 2022.