Notre Dame de Paris (2004)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Critic Reviews for Notre Dame de Paris
Audience Reviews for Notre Dame de Paris
This show was clearly hoping for the international success of Les Miserables. At least one problem, however, was that the lyrics translated into English on the cast recording are TERRIBLE. I was relieved to hear the much more beautiful French lyrics when I watched this film. That aside, this is really a very gripping musical. Garou is less "aww, a hunchback!" than many productions. He's pretty darn ugly, with a less-than-silky-smooth voice to match it. This means that the way we connect with him is most likely much closer to the way we're supposed to - we feel bad for him, but we really don't want him to be hanging around us all that often. His song "Dieu qe le monde est injuste," which comes across as just whiny in the English recording, here is poignant - the protest of a desperate man who feels he has always been on God's bad side. I was especially struck by Daniel Lavoie's portrayal of Frollo. Starting off as unflinchingly rigid and slowly degenerating into a a crazed man filled with lust, he is at his best when he is caught in between- in the song "Belle," he finds himself drawn to Esmeralda but maintains a safe distance, only able to bring himself to long from afar. Great performance. The dancers are a bit much. They fill nearly every scene, filling the stage with chaos that isn't always warranted. The gimmicky stage is also unneeded. "Tu vas me detruire," with its cathedral columns spinning to crush Frollo, was just silly, awkward and totally unnecessary. Staging aside, though, the music is compelling, the performances are fantastic, and the lyrics are much much better in French than they are in English. Worth watching if you enjoy musicals and don't mind subtitles!
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