Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008)
Genre: Musical
Format: Blu-ray
Director: Phyllida Lloyd

I have reviewed a lot of dark, depressing films mostly so here is something to change up the mood somewhat. It is perhaps a bit too cheery but that's not a bad thing. Based on the hit Broadway musical, Mamma Mia! The Movie made me wear a silly little grin on my face for the most part of the viewing with its overwhelmingly bright (just look at that movie poster) visual compositions and its extreme overdose of saccharine singing.

Mamma Mia! takes place during the period of two days somewhere on a fantasy Greek island. Single mother Donna, played by the ever-brilliant Meryl Streep, is busier than usual trying to make sure that the wedding for her only-daughter Sophie will be as perfect as possible. As if Sophie is not busy enough with the wedding preparations herself, she has invited three men who could be her possible father to the island without her mother's knowledge. Once the three of them arrived there, madness ensues - along with overblown musical numbers that is. What I like most about the storyline is that it doesn't just focus on Sophie's desire to find her father but it is also about Donna's suppressed loneliness. Both the mother's and daughter's personal plights really open up different levels of emotional resonance in the film that could be fully enjoyed and understood by the younger and the older audience. Sure, the characters are too optimistic and the events are simply unrealistic but strangely, you just don't care too much about those things when the movie is so good at making you feel like you are a part of something magical.

If you like ABBA, you will be happy to know that their biggest hits are all over this movie. They are not badly sung either. Well, unless you're Pierce Brosnan - it was borderline excruciating when he did the best that he could with "S.O.S." Not only that, he sounded like he was a bit uncomfortable "singing" the song. Overall, the tunes found here are as catchy as you remember them and hopefully the movie would provide the legendary group a renewed interest from the younger generation of music fans.

Mamma Mia! is a lot of fun and it is one of the more playful movies I have seen of late. With the over-dramatic character dialogues taking less screen time than the musical numbers, the movie is made for repeated viewing and easy listening. The usage of ABBA's songs matched the storyline perfectly and they were so powerful that I was pumped up to just go out and buy SingStar ABBA for the PlayStation 3 so that I can revel in my own ABBA glory (I haven't done it yet but the game is now on my Purchase List!).

RATING: 4 out of 5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your review makes me even want to see it!