You may recall last year that I had the pleasure of seeing Mamma Mia – The Musical and despite wondering beforehand how on earth they were going to make a decent musical out of ABBA I loved it. So with the recent release of the cinematic version I thought it only fair that I take one for the team, go and see it, and let you – my long suffering reader – know what it’s like. So that’s exactly what I’ve done.
It had all the makings of a truly terrible film. First of all, it’s a musical – a genre I’ve never really understood on the big screen. It has Pierce Brosnan in it singing – something the former James Bond actor has never looked likely to do – plus I’d read reviews of people saying you can see the pain etched on his face when he’s banging out the songs. My brother – who would make a good film critic as he sees more films than Mark Kermode – said he “hated it with a passion”. I’d heard it described like a massive amateur dramatics production with movie stars. By all accounts I was expecting to go and see Mamma Mia and loath every minute of it. But you know what?
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! 🙂
I think when watching it you have to give yourself over to the complete madness of it, the absurdity, the fact that tongues were firmly in cheeks all the way through filming. It does feel like it was shot in quite a rush with minimal rehearsals but the effort everybody puts into their performances and the mad semi-choreographed dancing just adds to the magic. It was pure comedy all the way through but to be honest I was sitting there waiting to hear Brosnan sing and I wasn’t disappointed. I rate the cinematic experience of Brosnan singing his first solo right up there with realising who Keyser Söze was in The Usual Suspects or that Bruce Willis was dead all along in The Sixth Sense! It was immediately clear that he’s not a natural singer but to be fair he gave it his best shot and his voice wasn’t bad at all – it’s worth seeing the film just for his version of S.O.S. Reruns of Brosnan’s 007 films will never be the same again…
Meryl Streep, however, really steals the show with not only some excellent singing but a really good all-round performance. Her best scene is definitely the one before the wedding singing ‘The Winner Takes It All’ – pure class (when you see it you’ll know why). I think without her strong performance Mamma Mia wouldn’t be half the film it is. I suspect it’s the sort of film that polarises people’s opinions but the big surprise for me is that mine has fallen on the side of thinking it’s great.
So the John Conners film recommendation of the week is to see Mamma Mia at your local cinema. Just don’t take it seriously and I’m sure you’ll love it! Either that or I’ve finally gone crazy… Quite possible I suppose after all these years… No, it’s not me, it’s just a great film for all the wrong reasons!