I picked this film up at the school library because I recognised the title as a famous French play and the main actor, Gerard Depardieu. On the back of the DVD cover there are several extremely flattering quotes such as: “one of the most successful French films ever made” and “a cinematic triumph” but unfortunately I have to disagree with those. Certainly, it was a good film, but I don’t think it was great.
Cyrano de Bergerac revolves around the main character, unspurpisingly, Cyrano, and his love for his cousin (it wasn’t creepy in those days), Roxane. The problem is, Roxane is really beautiful and Cyrano has an unnaturally large nose which he is very ashamed of. He is afraid to confess his feelings to Roxane because of his nose and so he remains silent. Then, a handsome young man, Christian, arrives on the scene and Roxane falls for him. Christian wishes to woo Roxane and although he’s got the good looks, he does not have the poetic flair needed to write the love letters Roxane so desires and so Cyrano offers to write them for him.
The only thing that was actually wrong with this film was its length. The running time for this film is approximately two hours and twenty minutes and I’m certain that the story could’ve been told just as well in a much shorter time. I’ve already sat through two hours of Asterix et Obelix today (see review here) and so I wasn’t really in the mood to sit through another extremely long and drawn out film. There are several pieces of the film that could’ve been cut or shortened, I noticed that the film’s beginning took around twenty five minutes which was simply too long. It’s not that I don’t have a very good concentration span because I’ve sat through plenty of two to three hour films before, it’s just not a lot actually happened in this film and it was fairly predictable. You could argue that it had to be that long because it’s an adaption of the play, but I’m sure there were moments of fighting or scenic shots that could’ve been slightly shortened.
All in all this is a good film, but not a great one, as the running time let it down. It ticks all the other boxes though: good acting, check; good plot, check; swashbuckling action, check. I would recommend this to fans of the three musketeers and those sort of dramas and even good old romantic people because this is a beautiful story.