Directed by Kenneth Branagh. 2007 .

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In 1976 Ingmar Bergman decided to make a movie of Mozartís famous opera The Magic Flute. Twenty- five years later, it remains the finest operatic film ever made to date. So when Kenneth Branagh decided to take on the mammoth task to re-make one of the most successful operas of all time he would have to deliver. 

I was one of the lucky few who were invited to this major charity premiere event held on the 26th November 2007 in Londonís Leicester Square. Not only was I very ignorant to opera, this was also my very first movie premiere so I didnít know what to expect. Once I found my seat there we were introduced to a short speech introduced by Simon Bates from the Classic FM team then followed Mr Kenneth Branagh himself. He advised he wanted to make this film for the avid movie fan and to reach out to an audience who wouldnít normally go and see an opera. Co Ė written by Mr Stephen Fry (everyoneís favourite intellectual) and performances from Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, Rene Pape, Benjamin Jay Davis.

The opening sequence shot with a single take, the camera takes in a blue sky and then beautiful colourful meadows and then with a swoop down to the trenches where we see walls on both sides were we are introduced to Tamino (Joseph Kaiser) who is in the battle of his life, he is then shot but miraculously saved by three nuns. They morph into a parallel universe to which Tomino awakes and goes on an adventure to save the daughter of the queen of the night who is kidnapped by Sarastro (powerfully played by Rene Pape). Tomino is helped by sidekick played by Benjamin J Davis. 

At this point the actors in this musical are brilliant and give some of the best performances I have seen on screen for a long time. This is a visually stunning film and with so much imagination this film delivers. A surprise appearance by Liz Smith makes this film superb. Itís a simple story of love and good versus evil. Kenneth Branagh I salute not only for having the guts to make this picture but to make it with style and creative flair for the modern day world. The adaptation of the lyrics by Stephen Fry is just pure genius. But the best performance I have seen was from Rene Pape and Benjamin Davis. Both really enticed its audience and became very memorable throughout the film. I would defiantly recommend this film for anyone who is fed up with the same old movies. If youíre looking for something completely different and original then go and see this movie. I would give it a five star out of five. B

Sharon Casey
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Material Copyright © 2005 Nigel Watson