the review of The screening of Cyrano Fernandez

Hi here the review of The screening of Cyrano Fernandez at Latin festival in Chicago

thanks Isabel for the review

Reviews Cyrano Fernandez

In my opinion, a good movie makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think. It sucks you in and makes you forget what’s going on outside the theater, you forget you are just watching actors on a screen. Cyrano Fernandez is just such a movie.

This film is based on the classic play, Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, but Cyrano Fernandez takes the uncommonly flawed hero out of 17th century France and places him in the maze of alleys and winding stairways of the modern-day slums of Caracas, Venezuela.

The title character, perfectly played by Edgar Ramirez, is a complex man, part poet and part gangster. Scarred, both literally and figuratively, by years of fighting just to survive in the barrio, Cyrano has still managed to keep compassion in his heart for his people and dreams of making life better for all of them.

He can be brutal when necessary, though he hates violence. He tells his friends, “Kill with a gun, die with one.” And he believes every word. Cyrano seems to be the unofficial leader in the neighborhood, as well as their self-appointed guardian. He and his gang, the Tupamarus, deal out their own form of justice, not only against the rival, Gaspar (Rafael Uribe), a ruthless drug lord, but also against a corrupt police force. Whether he is delivering retribution to a man who had beat his wife, or hijacking a tanker to bring water to the barrio, everything Cyrano does is for his people.

As in the original play, this is not just a story about war and survival, but also about unrequited love. Cyrano loves the beautiful Roxanna (Jessica Grau), and even though she shares a true friendship with Cyrano, Roxanna declares her love for Christian (Pastor Oviedo), and never realizes her friend’s real feelings, or as Cyrano writes, “she will never know my true voice.” The voice she hears is that of Christian, who sends her romantic letters and text messages that Cyrano has written for him. Roxanna longs for these words, and when she asks Christian to talk to her as he does in his letters, he refuses until he can bring Cyrano back to her window, which leads to the classic balcony scene from the original play. The characters follow the same tragic path as in Rostand’s story, and in the end Roxanna finally does hear Cyrano’s ‘true voice’ and learns of his unwavering love, though, unfortunately, it’s too late.

The actors, for the most part did a fine job, even the extras from the barrio, however I did find Roxanna a bit stiff at times and perhaps not worthy of such devotion. They were all eclipsed though by the performance of Edgar Ramirez, who made Cyrano so believable you barely noticed the imperfections of the rest of the cast. In Cyrano he ran through the complete spectrum of emotions and pulled them all off flawlessly. It was so nice to finally see him in a role that he could fully use his talent.

Cyrano Fernandez takes the audience through those same emotions, and yes, I did laugh and cry and I was angry and annoyed and heartbroken, as well. And I left the theater wondering how those people, who live amidst such poverty and violence can stay so positive, can hang on to their dreams against such unbeatable odds? It made me wonder, “Why can’t we all be like that?” Oh, right, it’s only a movie….but it did get me thinking.

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