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The Magic Flute [2006] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, René Pape, Lyubov Petrova, Benjamin Jay Davis
  • Directors: Kenneth Branagh
  • Writers: Kenneth Branagh, Emanuel Schikaneder, Stephen Fry
  • Producers: Mark Pickering, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Simon Moseley, Stephen Wright
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound, Colour
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YDAJMM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,653 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By alextorres on 20 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this Kenneth Brannagh film of Mozart's "The Magic Flute".

We are keen opera goers and have seen the opera a number of times in the theatre, as well as having a CD recording at home. So, you might think, we were bound to like it....perhaps you're right, but Brannagh's adaptation is extremely modern and may not be to the taste of all traditional opera goers.

If you have ever seen a Matthew Bourne ballet then you will understand what I mean when I say that Brannagh has done for "The Magic Flute" what Bourne did for "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker".

If the comparison isn't appropriate for you then what Brannagh has done is to take an established opera and given it some modern zing by bringing the action into a reasonably modern setting (First World War trench warfare), procuring a sharp modern translation from Stephen Fry and taking full advantage of the gamut of modern film trickery.

The result is a rich visual and aural extravaganza: opera works best when it transcends just the singing and becomes a multi-media extravaganza. Brannagh has certainly created such a feast with this production: the settings and action are memorable so that, allied to some superb singing, the result is a wonderful, sumptuous opera film.

It will be interesting to see whether non-opera fans will enjoy the film. I'm not sure that they will: whilst the diction of the singers is near-perfect, so that you can follow the dialogue reasonably easily, the essential elements of "The Magic Flute" plot are still there...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rosanna on 18 Jan 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I must confess I was not inclined to enjoy this film very much. Could a translated Magic Flute be a good Magic Flute? The answer is yes. Stephen Fry's adaptation succeeds in communicating the story -- what a versatile person Fry is!

As to Branagh's conception of the subject and music, it is very good in its creativity. Oh that entrance of the Queen of the Night on a tank! Oh Papageno flying into those giant red lips, indebted to the giant breast of 'Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask'! Oh that hansome Sarastro-Dumbledore, fighting against death and evil!

As to the singers-actors, they are really great. A daring gesture: a casting in which the only familiar face is good old Liz Smith. And you still love them all. Take that, Hollywood!

My only objection to the DVD: an European production with no subtitles! Come on, how expensive would that have been?
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Alan Freeman on 9 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
Even as a lover of opera and a keen cinema goer, I was totally unprepared for the visual and audio feast that greeted us when we attended a Preview of this film in Cambridge (followed by a question and answer session for the audience with Kenneth Branagh).

The opening scenes had me spellbound and the settings, acting and vocals were breathtaking. Any concerns I may have had about the First World War setting were unfounded and I would be surprised if Mozart purists have any issues when all the performances are so excellent!

I cannot wait to get my hands on the DVD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Mar 2010
Format: DVD
Kenneth Branagh and Stephen Fry have reworked Mozart's strange but beautiful comic opera "The Magic Flute" as an anti-war story set in the first world war. The music and acting are brilliant: aspects of the revised story are very peculiar (though no more so than the original) but in general it is both beautiful and entertaining.

In the original story, the hero Tamino (Joseph Kaiser) is a prince: here he is a junior officer in the army of some unidentified European power, and at the start of the film he and his men are sent "over the top" in an attack on the enemy trenches.

Where the 18th century opera had the hero attacked by a serpent and rescued by three ladies, in this version the ladies (Teuta Koco, Louise Callinan, and Kim-Marie Woodhouse) appear, initially, as nurses and rescue him from a cloud of poison gas. Recovering consciousness, he finds himself in a slightly different World War One trench system, where he meets the "bird man" Papageno (brilliantly sung and acted by Benjamin Jay Davies.) In this version the bird man uses his feathered friends to check for clean air: as in the original he also provides companionship to the hero and comic relief.

On the front where the hero now finds himself, the opposing armies are those of the Queen of the Night (Lyubov Petrova) and the sorceror Sarastro (Rene Pape), and it does not become obvious for some time which represents good and which is evil. The Queen makes her grand entrance on top of a Mark V tank and begs Tamino to rescue her daughter, Pamino (Amy Carson) who is being held prisoner in the fortress of Sarastro. Tamino and Papageno set off to rescue her, but it is soon apparent that in this magic world few things are what they seem ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C Coombes on 14 May 2011
Format: DVD
I've been trying to inspire my 8yr old with her flute practice so I got her this film as a treat. She absolutely loves it; the beautiful princess, love story, fabulous costumes.. and of course the music!
So far we've watched it 4 times in two days and I can tell we'll know it all off by heart soon. A welcome break from Disney films and the flute teacher will be impressed with her new found love of Mozart. A fantastic introduction to opera.
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