Please leave all sanity at the door.

Monthly Archives: January 2013

*Warning: contains some spoilers*

Reprise is a Norwegian film directed by Joachim Trier released in 2006. The film follows two writers, Phillip and Eric, on their quest to become successful authors and along the way; it tackles themes of love, ambition, possibilities and friendship.

The film’s focus is split between the two main characters: Phillip (pictured right) and Eric (pictured left).

To explain my views on Reprise simply if this movie were chopped in half, one half would be good and the other would be complete rubbish.

Phillip’s relationship with Kari (his on and off girlfriend) is by far the most intriguing part of the film. At the beginning of the film, Phillip suffers a mental breakdown and it is later revealed that the breakdown led to him obsessing over Kari. Through out the film, Phillip’s main goal is to reconcile his relationship with Kari. Watching a confused Phillip trying to win back Kari’s love once more, whilst also attempting to decipher how he truly feels about her at the same time, is generally a touching experience. Phillip’s recurring attempts to count down from ten to one reveal how desperate he is to fall in love with her again as when he first met her; he counted how long it took for her to fall in love with him on their first date in Paris.

However, the problem is, to reach these interesting segments with Phillip and Kari, we have to stomach the dull and irritating followings of Eric. Eric’s ‘story’ of getting his book published completely drags down the film. I never felt invested in Eric’s struggle to get published and overall, he came off as a very smug and unlikable person and if I fail to connect with the character, why should I care about his success?

Overall, the acting was decent and there were a few laughs to be had here and there but really, it’s the divided attention of the story that really lets this film down the most.

Reprise definitely has the potential to become a thought provoking moving film but sadly, for me, it ultimately failed to entice. This does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that Reprise is a horrible tragedy of cinema, of course not. In fact, I could see how some people could like such a film. For me, Reprise just seemed like a boring convoluted mess: it was not my sort of film.

Then again, if could have been worse.

It could have been even more convoluted and boring…

Oh yes, I went there 🙂

The Lion King is a musical production based on the Disney Animated movie of the same name, adapted by Irene Mecchi, Johnathon Roberts and Linda Woolverton.

As a child I, like many other people, grew up on the classic Disney movies, of which Lion King was most definitely one of my favourites. When I heard news that a stage version was coming out, I was determined to see it in the hope of reliving that golden age of my childhood all over again and it did not disappoint.

A fine example of the effort that went into costume making for the costume of Scar.

What you will remember most about The Lion King is the visual style. I know I was one of the people who thought whilst walking into the theatre ‘Just how DO you make a stage version of The Lion King?’ In a film where the cast are all animals, a musical translation seemed almost impossible. Thankfully, I was blown away. The various costume choices for the cast were highly detailed and added that integral animal quality to the characters. In particular, the Timon Puppet and the Giraffe outfits were outstanding and for a moment, I completely forgot I was watching people acting as animals and thought the animals themselves were on stage. The dancing was also well done so congratulations go to Gareth Fagan on his imaginative choreography.

There were strong performances all round, of which the most notable were Stephen Carlile, who gave an entertaining, if not over the top, portrayal of Scar and Cleveland Cathnott, who played the stoic Mufasa. Sadly, the musical half of the Lion King couldn’t match up to the visual style. Most of the songs were fairly average in their delivery, which was disappointing because I really do love all the Lion King’s songs. The only exceptions were the musical exclusive song ‘Shadowlands’, which had Carole Stennant as Nala showing off her powerful vocals, ‘He Lives in You’, performed by Gugwana Dlamini (Rafiki) and Nicholas Nkuna (Simba) and, of course, ‘The Circle Of Life’.

Most of the story of The Lion King is directly adapted from the movie (though it does feature a nice additional scene where we see Scar go a little schizophrenic in considering what he is doing wrong as king and ends with him madly demanding Nala be his queen), so if you enjoyed the original plot, you’re sure to like that side of the play.

Overall,  The Lion King was an enjoyable experience and I strongly recommend it to any Disney or Musical fans in general. The Lion King is now showing at the Manchester Palace Theatre. If you wish to book your tickets now, please follow the link: