The adaptation of concerts into movies have been a growing genre, with films like Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Katy Perry: Part of Me, and the upcoming One Direction concert film, 1D3D. Most of these films have been rather bland, as the films consisted of documentary style storytelling of the star’s life, while throwing in a few fan service and concert scenes, and the One Direction film is looking to fall in that same mold. Cirque Du Soleil Worlds Away is trying something rather new. The high art carnival is not a documentary, but rather an actual narrative, and it works, some of the time.
Cirque Du Soleil Worlds Away follows Mia, a young woman who stumbles herself upon a seemingly average circus. This is until she is entranced by The Aerialist, and finds herself in a dreamlike world, full of mystical characters, as both try to find each other.
It is always great to see something completely unique, and Cirque Du Soleil Worlds Away delivers that. Not only does the film bring its unique brand to the big screen, but it enhances it. I have seen a couple Cirque Du Soleil shows, and they were rather breathtaking; this film ups that ante. Director Andrew Adamson appears to really have loved this project, as he does a fantastic job directing the flick. Teaming up with cinematographer Brett Turnbull, the two capture the elegant beauty of these stunts, and the film looks like pure, visual gold.
I was lucky enough to get a 3D Blu-Ray of the film, and the 3D is fantastic. It enhances these stunts to another degree, making the audience feel as if they were more of the part of the film. While I have not watched a lot of movies on my 3D TV, I would say this one is by far the best executed.
This film is a deliberately slow film. The filmmakers here take their time to set up these stunts, and I appreciate that, since most films move too fast. Although, I don’t think the slow pace quite worked as well here. Some of these grand stunts took a little too long to set up, and when they got to their finish, it felt a little slightly less powerful since the build up was so slow. The film runs at about 91 minutes long, which is short for most feature films, but it begins to outstay its welcome near the close. I think the film could have been edited to around 80 minutes, and would have been a much tighter, more fun experience.
The film’s narrative is very underdeveloped. While I admire that the film tries to have a bit of a story arc, and has a nice conclusion, it feels like it was just kind of half-baked. The film is mainly focused on the circus itself, and I understand that, but I think something could have been done to make this story great, and really make these characters and stunts even more effective. It just felt like a wasted opportunity
While I don’t think anyone behind the film is needed to take the blame for this, the film is just missing that element of mystery to make it true to the Cirque Du Soleil experience. When seeing the show live, I always found myself on the edge of my seat, as each impossible stunt had a rather strong chance of failing. There is real tension to everything, knowing that this is live and unedited, so when the stunt is pulled off, it’s even more of a wow moment. Since this is a film, everything is done perfectly, but lacks that risk element. Again, I think it would be nearly impossible to pull this off in a film, but for a film trying to display the Cirque Du Soleil experience, it is missing that core element.
Cirque Du Soleil: World’s Away has tons of elements to admire, but not nearly as much to really enjoy about it. It’s sleek, glossy, and beautiful, but not nearly as good as the show. But really, that is to be expected.
Take a Drink: whenever you catch yourself saying “DAMN”.
Take a Drink: whenever you see a character that looks like another movie character.
Take a Drink: any time you are bored, it’s sure to spice up the experience.