The Magic Flute
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Musical
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 2h 4m
Director(s): Florian Sigl
Writer(s): Andrew Lowery, Florian Sigl (created by, ) Jason Young, Christopher Zwickler (created by)
Cast: Jack Wolfe, Iwan Rheon, F. Murray Abraham, Niamh McCormack, Stéfi Celma, Asha Banks, Stefan Konarske, Amir Wilson, Tedros Teclebrhan.
Where To Watch: opening in select theaters nationwide on March 10, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: THE MAGIC FLUTE, produced by the renowned Roland Emmerich, is a movie that will leave you entranced with its unique blend of classical music and coming-of-age storytelling (and maybe a little confused.) The film's protagonist, Tim (Jack Wolfe,) dreams of attending the Mozart All-Boys Music School to become a singer. However, he faces many challenges to reach his goal, including a headteacher ready to see him fail, the first brush with love, and doubts about his singing voice. Tim finds a mystical gateway in the school's library that transports him to the world of Mozart's opera, where he learns the true meaning of courage, confidence, and the power of music.
First and foremost, before I get into the review, this is a film based on an opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; thus, you should expect operatic music. If you don’t like opera, you likely won’t like portions of this film. I felt I should include this since I saw some other reviews that were upset about the music in the movie.
The movie's captivating visuals are one of its greatest strengths. The stunning shots of Austria are breathtaking, and the fantasy sequences in the opera plot are an absolute delight to watch. The film seamlessly blends real-world scenes with the fantasy world; the CGI in this film felt top-tier throughout, and I was impressed by its use in particular situations.
Some casting choices have raised concerns; while I won’t go into detail here, some changes seem somewhat questionable. Despite its flaws, The Magic Flute is an entertaining movie that perfectly blends classical and modern music. The cover of the 1970s Jackson 5 hit “I’ll Be There” by Jack Wolfe and Niamh McCormack was mesmerizing; I would love for that to be released as a single.
I haven’t seen the other versions of the film, but after watching this, I’m very interested to see how others have handled these stories. Specifically, Ingmar Bergman's Kenneth Branagh's renditions have fans and detractors of how the source material was envisioned.
THE MAGIC FLUTE is a movie that celebrates the power of music to inspire. Though some viewers may find the fantastical world of the opera over-the-top, it was a unique approach that offered an homage to several different fantasy films.
The message about the power of music to transcend time and place is relevant even today. Challenge yourself with a different type of film; you’ll never know what you like unless you try new things.
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[photo courtesy of SHOUT! STUDIOS/CENTROPOLIS ENTERTAINMENT]