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The Magic Flute [2006] [DVD]

Joseph Kaiser , Amy Carson , Kenneth Branagh    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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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)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,893 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Director Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Mozart's classic opera. Set on the eve of the First World War, Timino (Joseph Kaiser) waits anxiously with his fellow recruits for the command to go over the top into an as yet unravaged landscape. As the musical adventure unfolds, the bourgeoning love affair between Timino and Pamina (Amy Carson), the daughter of the Queen of the Night, possibly holds the key to the fate of the warring parties.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually Spectacular & Stunning Vocals! 9 Feb 2008
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Mozart's classic reworked as an anti-war movie 8 Mar 2010
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars kids love it too! 14 May 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mozart: Magic Flute DVD
Very different from other versions I have seen, but the singing is the main thing and you cannot fault it here. A very varied score for all the cast to contend with.
Published 7 months ago by sparrowlegs
2.0 out of 5 stars Translation good, concept bizarre
Schikaneder's Magic Flute is an allegorical tale of mankind's (Tamino's) progress towards reason/wisdom under the tutelage of an enlightened but absolute patriarch (Sarastro), and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by SA
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Flute
A classic opera adapted to something that reminds of world war one back stage. The scenes are visually beautiful. The vocal performances are superb. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bjorn
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Interpretation of Mozart
This is an interesting interpretation of Mozart's Magic Flute. Set in a World War I scenario, two sides are fighting a perpetual war, with neither side having an advantage. Read more
Published 15 months ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Branagh Adaptation for the Screen
A very entertaning Magic Flute, adapted to the First World War battlefield. Just to see the entrance of the Queen of the Night rolling in on a WWI tank to deliver O Zittre Nicht is... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Robert B
3.0 out of 5 stars A mistake
A bought this book while singing in the chorus with Opera Mint Cardiff and then discovered
it was the wrong version, I therefore do not feel qualified to review it
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. Joanna Luscombe-whyte
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to opera
I thought this movie was truly dazzling in its sheer scale, the sets and CGI backgrounds were truly incredible, I must say I am a true orchestral music fan, but I HATE OPERA! Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2012 by johnnywindows1
3.0 out of 5 stars US purchaser has conversion issues
I did a lot of research to track down this DVD and was overjoyed finally to find it for sale. Alas I have not been able to view it in my Maryland, USA home. Read more
Published on 4 July 2012 by magicalgodmother
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical production
Since he embarked upon his directorial career Kenneth Branagh has been responsible for some interesting films of Shakespeare plays transported to various times and settings. Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2012 by Iain S. Palin
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth it
The Magic Flute in English, imaginative and visually striking at times! I don't always like classic music being transformed for the sake of making it more approachable to the... Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2012 by Cécilia
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