Ossus Library Index Drama Movie Index

EVITA

Directed by Alan Parker (1996, Buena Vista)
Starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas, and Jonathan Pryce

Eva Peron grows from a girl from nowhere to a superstar and president's wife in Argentina.

 

 

5 stars

October 4th, 2013 on Blu-Ray for the 6th time

 
    I finally bought the hi-definition version of this movie, and it's worth it. The visuals were great, and of course I keep saying the songs are amazing, too.   

 

5 stars

August 27th, 2005 on Video for the 5th time

 
    There is something to be said for a movie that keeps me humming its tunes more than a week after seeing it. There are so many good songs, that even without the visuals, it is great! My favorites are definitely the energetic songs, like The Money Keeps Rolling In, but I completely adore the soft ones, too, like High Flying Adored, and those in between, especially Good Night and Thank You!

Believe it or not, there is a real love story here. Just look at the way Peron looks at Eva, both in amazement, as I said below, and in love. The way he goes to her bedroom, then decides against entering. She looks relieved that he went back to his room, but he is rather sad. His love is more explicitly shown in You Must Love Me, where he stays by her side, even though she can offer him no more power. He must wonder if she would do the same.

I can't believe that I've only seen this movie five times. The soundtrack CD is the blame for that. I know the songs so well, but many of the visuals seemed rather foreign to me! I definitely have to watch this more often. This time around, I was prompted because of the Broadway production I saw recently. If I can't see the show live, this is almost as good.

 

 

5 stars

October 28th, 2001 on Video for the 4th time

 
    Spectacular, both in visuals and in the acting. But what this movie is really about is the music. Without the music, this movie would only be half as good, if that. 

The day after first seeing Evita in the theatres, I went out and bought the soundtrack. And I still listen to it, so it makes me feel like I've watched the movie more often than I actually have. There are a few scenes (a handful at most) that do not have music, and I have no recollection of them at all!

And can those two leads sing. I am assuming that Antonio Banderas did his own singing. Why would they cast him as Che and not use his voice, since that's central to the character? I loved every song that he sang. He made it all passion, and went across the entire range of emotions possible. He was often angry, because he was placed in the scenery as a common low-class citizen. When he is singing counterpoint to Madonna, he is usually the one pointing out problems, criticizing her efforts, standing in for those of use who are watching her. 

There is no doubt that Madonna has a terrific voice for this sort of thing. Her rendition of Don't Cry For Me Argentina was very emotional, but she belts out Rainbow High and her parts of Goodnight and Thank You with all her might. But she also strings along her part of the soft High Flying, Adored which makes it probably my favorite song in the whole movie. For his part, Antonio Banderas does an even better job than Madonna. 

They two leads also show such a range of emotion as young people growing up. Che has a greater sense of the real world, but Eva never sits still long enough to let reality hamper her plans. From Magaldi, the singer who takes her to bed and has her follow him home to Buenos Aires, through the line of men she inspires until she reaches Juan Peron, who becomes leader of Argentina, Eva never loses sight of her goal -which is more and more power. That is what makes High Flying, Adored so relevant, as Che asks what comes next. 

And we can see the awe in Juan Peron's eyes as he watches Eva take control of the crowds, and doesn't see any way to stop her climb. After being First Lady for a while, she wants to be Vice President, and perhaps then she'll go for President, and transform herself into a Queen! Peron watches her and, though he can also control a crowd, is amazed by her charisma. It is truly wonderful to watch.

Che is involved in the parts of the movie that bring us back to Earth. The civil unrest, hiding as governments change (accompanied by a very fun song), calling for Peron to be released from jail and voting for him to be elected. Finally, when nothing has changed, he is involved in protests of Peron's government. Hmmm....

Che is the one we can identify with. Though Eva gives us hope and awes us with her climb up the social ladder, Che is the common person. He dances with a young girl in a new fountain, in another terrific and very fun scene. But his most fun probably came while singing Goodnight and Thank You, as Eva goes from one man to the next, dropping the previous one without a second glance as she moves from an important man to an even more important one. It is such a terrific scene that borders on showing Eva as a tramp. 

The whole movie, though was very tastefully done, although it does not treat the legend of Eva Peron as a cherished one. It takes it, shows what she did and usually blasts it away, telling us that she never really did anything for anybody except herself. And that is part of what makes the movie so much fun. Probably if I lived with such a legend, in Argentina, where I understand she is still loved, I would not appreciate the way this movie tears her apart. But I thought it showed her in a very plausible light. It didn't make her out to be an evil person. She was just ambitious. And when her flame started to go out, it was very noticeable. 

There were such incredible visuals in this movie. The crowd scenes captured a whole range of events, from a silent vigil outside Eva's room as she dies to a violent protest broken up by police. They were accompanied by amazing music and lyrics, which told us what was going on, giving a history lesson, as well as often making fun of the people involved.

But Eva remains a lesson in hope. She shows us that a peasant girl, a nobody, can climb the ladder of success. That she had to trample on others is no matter. The fact that she did it is what counts. 

But the movie was really about showcasing the music. And, as I have said over and over, it did that wonderfully. I come away, still, singing for days on end with the catchy tunes, laughing over the funniest moments and the most fun moments of the film. Everything here is top notch. This is a movie that I will continue to watch, but not as often as I would otherwise. Because the soundtrack keeps everything fresh, and I feel like I'm watching the movie just listening to it! The movie just accentuates the soundtrack in its stunning visuals.
 

 

5 stars

February 15th, 1997 on Video for the 3rd time

 
    Incredible experience.  Came away singing for a week!  The acting, singing and visual effects were all stunning.  I'd go see it again in a minute!  
   

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