Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Across The Universe", "Hairspray", "Grease"
This would sound cliched, but... MAMMA MIA!
Now, if you used to be an ABBAholic and think you've outgrown their music, maybe this is a good movie to reaffirm your faith in the band. Never before I recall my love for ABBA with such great admiration, our last summer, walks along the Seine, laughing in the rain...
Or something like that.
Based on the blockbuster stage musical of the same name, the stage-to-movie adaptation is splendid in itself. Shot in the beautiful small Greek islands of Skopelos and Skiathos among others, the island's picturesque scenery is an added bonus to an already fun romantic musical, while whispering its desires for you to list down 'small Greek islands' as your next choice for a vacation.
It's a whole collection of refreshing performances. It's refreshing to see Amanda Seyfried be something other than dumb blonde roles she's so used to. With lesser make-up and simple dresses, she looks every part an island girl. It's also refreshing to see Colin Firth return to his forte; not musicals, but light-hearted romance. Of course the real deal here would be Meryl Streep. Curious I was, when I saw her name in the lead. Seeing her recently playing serious ageing characters made me forget that Streep can sing and she did it before in "A Prairie Home Companion". She sings, she dances, she twirls around in cute blue overalls while her shiny golden hair dances together, making you feel ashamed that you may not have the same energy even though you're much younger.
As it IS based on ABBA songs, mentioning it is a must. The movie successfully lightens ABBA's signature World of Sound, and turns it into a fun musical that suits the movie feel without losing its quality. Started off with "Honey, Honey", it gets better and better each time and you will find yourself singing along and wanting to join Donna and her best friends as they dance and twirl around through "Dancing Queen", comforting each other with "Chiquitita", while the men relive memories of Donna in "Our Last Summer", ending reasonably with "Thank You For The Music" as the credit rolls.
The only bane of "Mamma Mia!" would be Pierce Brosnan's voice talent (or lack thereof). Trying to hide the non-existent singing skills by lots of growling, what Brosnan achieved was only to make the songs sound ridiculous - but the man tried. I would give it an A+ for the effort but C- for the end result.
But if you were never an ABBA fan, then maybe watching a singing James Bond, a dancing Mr Darcy or Meryl Streep doing mid-air splits and jumping on beds would tickle your fancy. Do wait till the end though, if you wanna see more ABBA-esque performances from the whole cast. They stayed onscreen and kept singing and singing!Cinema Online, 23 September 2008