The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 6, 2008
The opera works surprisingly well in Swedish, and, of course, Bergman's adaptation of this wonderful piece is one of a kind.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2008
Everyone else is mental! Giving this film such high ratings. I am a fan of Mozart and I have a high tolerance for lengthy foreign films and musicals, bu this was near unbearable. I usual enjoy the songs from this opera, but they are now banned for a year, because of the bad memories from this film. It's so long and for some reason the camera pans to members of the audience for the first four minutes of the film. And throughout the opera at random points the camera pans to some little girl in the audience watching the opera. I mean WTF?? I thought I was watching the opera.

March 13, 2014
My first actual full Opera experience. I think I want to see more. I was surprised at the comedy in the Opera. That's just my own ignorance. Lots of fun. I'll watch this again someday with my children.
August 16, 2013
Characteristically intimate and whimsical, as a Bergman film, but the opera doesn't gain much appeal by translation to a two-dimensional medium.
½ July 17, 2009
Bergman does opera drama, and it's a mixed bag. It's one of those weird occasions where a play is filmed live, or at least pretends to be filmed live. There are random moments of the camera recording people in the audience looking at the play, which is plain stupid. My attention span lasted about an hour before I thought the notes and character appearances turned repetitive. It's really gay. Too joyous and uneventful, also.
January 7, 2010
"Charming" is not a word you usually associate with Ingmar Bergman. A couple of his comedies and the Ekdahl gatherings in Fanny & Alexander, maybe. But this one is very charming. Bergman has a ball with this, skillfully blending the blatantly theatrical with the purely cinematic. The cutaways to the smiling child in the audience and the backstage antics during the intermission reminds us that it's all in good fun. Surely for an opera fan, this is one of the best filmed operas there is. The thing is... I'm not an opera fan. I do have some affection for this one, because it's prominently featured in my beloved Amadeus, because Papageno is awesome (wonderfully portrayed here by Hakan Hagegard) and because, well, it's Ingmar Bergman. But I must say there are some parts I find quite boring. Particularly in the second act, with all of Pamina and Tamino's brooding over those somber, un-catchy tunes. If it wasn't for the intensely joyful Papageno moments occasionally breaking through the dreariness, this would be a pretty tough section to get through. But the rest of it is, as I said, quite charming. In a perverse way, it's also fitting that this comes after Scenes from a Marriage, since at its core it's essentially about a very, very bitter divorce.
½ June 20, 2008
So...he shot an opera...that was on stage. That's what he did? ...Congratulations? It looks fine, but why did he make this, exactly?
November 26, 2007
My favorite film of an opera, my favorite opera of any composer, and it's my favorite composer. Mozart's mix of the profound (the brotherhood of all mankind, etc.) and the humorous (instead of having the prince slay the dragon to save the maid at the end; it's at the beginning and the prince faints and 3 ladies save him, auguing who will stay with him while the others report back to the queen!) works here better than anywhere else.

One of the reasons it works better here than other productions is there is a wonderful mix of mostly on stage, with little hints of backstage moments (Papageno is slightly late for for his first enterance, for example) and outdoor action (Pamina running in the snow and considering suicide). Another fascinating thing here is the short intermission; but all the main singers remain in character: Sarastro reads "Parsifal" while one of Monostatos' minions reads a comic book, the Queen of the Night takes a long sexy drag on a cigarette while Tamino and Pamina play chess (that hints of Ferdinano and Miranda in Shakespeare's "The Tempest"). All these things add up to sense of realism that rarely is seen and make Bergman's production have even greater power. If you are going to see only one opera, this is the one.
August 30, 2007
My reluctance toward opera was overwhelmed by how good this adaptation is. It isn't what is changed that is good, but how the opera was presented. Set on stage, the film opens with faces of children in the audience. They sit happily anticipating the beginning of the opera. The wonderful faces set the right tone to smile at the rest of the film. Bergman films the stage recreation. Through out the story, he mixes in shots of a specific young girl. As a child, she can understand the gist of the story but not the specifics of the art, but she's still entranced in the story. Her enchanchment becomes ours. Bergman hasn't been one to adapt specific plays to film, but he creates the right atmosphere to make The Magic Flute both faithful to the original and something more than a typical adaptation. Bergman uses the right elements to make it grand entertainment.
July 23, 2005
Mozart would be ecstatic if he saw this movie. It is superbly faithful to the intention and perfection of Mozart's great opera.
June 28, 2005
Amazing interpretation and direction. Excellent operatic singing by what appear to be non world-class actors. Incredible English translation.
June 24, 2014
bergmen brings mozart's opera to the big screen.
March 13, 2014
My first actual full Opera experience. I think I want to see more. I was surprised at the comedy in the Opera. That's just my own ignorance. Lots of fun. I'll watch this again someday with my children.
August 16, 2013
Characteristically intimate and whimsical, as a Bergman film, but the opera doesn't gain much appeal by translation to a two-dimensional medium.
½ April 16, 2013
No need to be cliche and say that Sven Nykvist's cinematography was luscious and that the set design/costume work was impeccable.
½ April 15, 2013
Bergman's film on Mozart's Opera is a delight to watch. Even though he films the opera on stage, he films it in such a way you forget you are watching a stage performance. If you are a fan of operas you will love this film.
½ April 14, 2013
A lower effort not for the content but for the style. it is tricky to film a theater beautifully and this is not a success at it, the angles are static, the opening scene is not very well executed. otherwise it all scales up and gains many notes toward the middle section where certain scenes manages to translate the best of both medium.
March 25, 2013
Flawless and perfect. Simply wonderful and amazing.
½ April 8, 2012
Princess Pamina (Urrila) is suddenly kidnapped by a sorcerer (Cold), and her mother, Queen of the Night (Nordin) sends wanderer Tamino (Köstlinger) and his carefree companion Papageno (Hagegård) to save her. It turns out that Tamino secretly yearns for the princess as she does him. But it turns out that things are not what it seems, and evil seems to stand in the way of the two. An adaptation of Mozart's famous opera "The Magic Flute", Ingmar Bergman's "Trollflöjten" not only creates a wonderful remake of the play, but offers an excellent art house film. While it isn't as memorable as Bergman's other films, and it doesn't leave an impression with you, it's hard to deny that this isn't a masterful exercise for the Swedish master himself. Filmed in the theatre (I'm not kidding), Bergman with such ease takes the magic of seeing a play and creates it into a interesting film, even if at times it doesn't work. Though I'm not a fan of opera, I found the music to be a feast to the ears, even if it does change its original German language into Swedish (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). With every performers hard work, it just sounds wonderful, and the fact that Sven Nyqvist films such sumptuous cinematography just based off of a theatrical stage is mesmerizing. "Trollflöjten" doesn't even come close to one of Bergman's best, but with the Criterion Collection's flawless print, and the unique touches added, it's a fitting yet entertaining spectacle of the opera. Bergman in my opinion, is the only director in the world that could pull off such a interesting take for a film.
September 2, 2011
Not a usual Bergman film, it is quite normal. I did like the music and the acting was good. But, the film is quite predictable, especially the second act. The hero easily aces his tasks. Tedious!
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