337 of 360 people found the following review helpful
Better than expected - in fact, brilliant,
This review is from: Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD]  (DVD)
My wife and I went to see this last week not sure what to expect and we came away really impressed. Objectively, it's a very well crafted film. The songs are used to great effect throughout in reflecting events and building the emotion of the storyline. The particular sequence just before the wedding is an unexpected series of emotional body-blows: I defy anyone with grown-up kids to resist empathising with the feelings being portrayed on screen. It certainly caught me out - middle-aged guy speaking - and my wife (along with numerous others) shed a tear. Streep in particular is wonderfully adept at bringing the lyrics to life. I found myself thinking anew about the meaning of lines from songs I've heard and sung along to many, many times before.
Looked at coldly, without knowing details of their musical 'credentials', the cast list is an unusual combination, but there's no doubt that this particular recipe works terrifically well on screen. To those who criticise Brosnan's singing - I think you've missed the point. This is not just a standard 'musical'. The guys, it seems to me, were chosen mainly for what they could bring to the roles as actors, not as lead singers. At no point before seeing the film was I expecting to be blown away by the guys singing, and at no point during the film did I feel disappointed by it either. Their singing is a delightful facet of their broader characters and far from detracting from the value of the film as a musical, actually makes it so much more enjoyable.
To sum up, I went to see it in ambivalent state of mind, fully prepared to come away with a so-so opinion of it. I have to admit Mamma Mia won me over, and as a result, for the first time in 30 years, we've been to see a film twice. It's an optimistic, life-affirming movie. The cynics can pull it to bits if they please, but the sheer, uncomplicated happiness it gives to the vast majority who've see it - including us - speaks volumes.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2008 18:59:34 BDT
I agree with your comments about the guys' singing. It was very poignant when they sang "My Last Summer" and when Pierce and Meryl sang "When All Is Said And Done" which is a great song about older people.
Posted on 12 Oct 2008 19:45:18 BDT
dear boy says:
This review says it all. We don't need 'real' singers in this film. Like the reviewer i was brought to tears by the leading men singing in their own unpolished voices. Wonderful.
Posted on 19 Oct 2008 15:26:21 BDT
J. Wright says:
What you say at the end is absolutely right ... 'uncomplicated happiness' - as Meryl said when she collected the HUGELY DESERVED people's choice award for best actress in the UK a while back - 'this is one in the teeth for the critics'. I have studied film to postgrad level and am not always one to embrace sheer escapist films such as this - but Mamma Mia was the most joyful experience I have EVER had in a cinema. You cannout put a price on the uplifiting genius of this film ... I adored and saw it SIX TIMES at the cinema, a lifetime first for me. Your review was spot on :)
Posted on 21 Oct 2008 16:08:14 BDT
P. S. Bareham says:
Ok the guy's singing is not the best but I think it all adds to the movie. I came away thoroughly happy and thinking "I've been to that wedding!" Julie Walters dancing on the table could have been my friend at her daughter's wedding. The guys could have been any of us men singing along to the disco at any wedding!!!!!! Loved it and congrats to everyone involved.
Posted on 21 Oct 2008 21:55:50 BDT
Great review, I was nodding and agreeing with everything you said. Seen it at the cinema three times myself (twice with my 10 year old daughter) and is the first movie ever that I've decided to pre-order on DVD. The people criticising the vocal talent completely and utterly miss the whole point of the movie. I think this will be a well played DVD when it arrives :-)
Posted on 18 Nov 2008 16:54:56 GMT
I definitely agree about the guys' singing - the silliness of these middle aged men singing and dancing about in typical game but inept fashion is perfect for their roles. They are, after all, dads dancing at a wedding! The spirit of the performances and overall movie comes from how much fun they're having and how Abba's music is all inclusive, not about coming in and having a bunch of professional singers be pitch perfect but lose the joie de vivre.
Posted on 22 Nov 2008 20:02:01 GMT
Eric Tai says:
For the first time in my life,i've watched a movie 13th times!!. This movie really inspired me and deserves respect to all the cast and directors for making this movie highly entertain.
It's good to hear that it has achieved great box office success worldwide. I've pre-ordered the Uk release on bluray and it's already on the way.I will watch it over and over again!
Pierce's singing is the highlight of this movie,his singing is nothing wrong at all!
Posted on 27 Nov 2008 15:40:08 GMT
Mrs. Pauline Murfet says:
Such a good movie, cannot fault it. I am 72 and have seen it 6 times now. A lovely uncomplicated story.
Posted on 3 Dec 2008 12:14:49 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Dec 2008 12:15:43 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2008 15:37:38 GMT
You are clearly deaf as well as stupid