7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Suitable Film Dramatisation Of A Very Great Opera,
This review is from: Duke Bluebeard's Castle [DVD]  [NTSC] (DVD)
I love this opera and watching this DVD there were moments when I was nearly in tears; mostly thanks to the able singing and conducting. Nevertheless, three stars might be closer to the mark.
There is at least consistency to the Hammer horror presentation, but maybe it is all a little too literal, too bourgeois. Also, the acting isn't up to much. Both singers, obviously miming, wear their facial expressions like masks - not wholly appropriate for Judith - but I wanted more inner life, more acting with the eyes, and more exciting direction with the camera.
For all that this is a film, not an opera house production, it still looks stagey. Door No.5, not for the first time, is an anticlimax, though the idea of placing it in the floor which opens to reveal the dominions below, is inspired. The other rooms lack the necessary sense of the uncanny, the fantastic, which belongs in any grim folk tale.
With that in mind, the Solti conducted version might appeal more, given the - to a Westerner's eyes - exotic beauty of the soprano and the greater abundance of colour - for example, in the garden - and physical attraction between bride and groom.
Watch this one once, then evry other time with your eyes closed...