A sweeping film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s successful stage musical based on the true-life story of Evita Duarte, a polarizing figure in Argentina, who rose from nothing to eventually become the wife of president Juan Perón. There is very little spoken dialogue in the film that is told primarily through a collection of unforgettable songs, including “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”, “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You”, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, and the Oscar-winning “You Must Love Me”, just to name a few.
Like the songs, the acting is very strong across the board. Madonna’s long list of prior music videos in her singing career serves her very well here as she embodies the role very convincingly and emotes a plethora of emotions and feelings through song and body actions alone. Antonio Banderas is fiery and handsome as Ché, the narrator, and Jonathan Pryce turns in an observant and memorable performance as president Juan Perón.
Evita features stunning picture quality and an impressively rich audio presentation that delivers the film’s commanding musical soundtrack very well. Special features include a making-of documentary (43 min), Madonna’s “You Must Love Me” music video (3 min) and a teaser trailer (2 min).
Evita successfully moved from the stage to the big screen in a way that is both enjoyable and memorable. Though many like to point out Madonna’s less than stellar acting career, there is no doubt that the role of Evita is one she was born to play. Highly recommended.