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Three-Star Film: Five-Star Music
on 27 February 2013
What to do when you hate musicals but love Abba? I was born in 1965 and thus lived through Abba's glory years. But to me the songs are songs with depth and meaning, whereas by moulding them into an artificial story - whilst cleverly done - means that the songs are now taken out of context, their meaning cheapened, their depth negated.
Add in the screaming by the `women', the false bonhomie, and the incessant gushing, I could only conclude that this film was not for me! (The DVD was originally bought for my mother.) Sure there are moments of interest, such as when for a split-second Meryl appears exactly like Botticelli's `Venus' (I assume it was done deliberately), or when Colin naively apes James Bond by introducing himself as "I'm Bright, Harry Bright", just before Piers Brosnan introduces his own character. But the humour is weak: the only time I laughed was when Julie Walters falls into the water.
A word about the generous extras. The director's commentary is full of interest on the making of the film in all its aspects, but if your heart is not in the film, then there is very little you can do except keep ironing. (I always listen to DVD commentaries when ironing.) There are also eight minutes of deleted scenes; a deleted song (`The Name of the Game'); two minutes of outtakes; a twenty-five minute `making of' documentary; and other minor short films about the film. But the best extra of all is the singalong track, which I made much use of, much to my partner's amusement and disdain.
Because, in the end, it is the music that is the be-all and end-all of this film. Three-star film: five-star music.