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Mamma Mia! The Movie

Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Screenwriter: Catherine Johnson

Composer: Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus (based on the songs of ABBA)

DVD, Rs. 599

This is a movie you would either thoroughly enjoy or hate rabidly. You could enjoy because it is too campy or too cheesy and you could hate it for the same reasons. I did not enjoy the movie even though I am fond of ABBA. But that must be just me. Based on the phenomenally successful West End and Broadway musical, “Mamma Mia! The Movie” is a tribute to the Swedish pop group of the Seventies, ABBA.

The movie tells the story of Sophie who has been brought up by her mum, Donna, on a beautiful Greek Island. Mother and daughter run a quaint country inn.

Twenty-year-old Sophie is engaged to be married to Sky and wants to find her father.

She chances upon her mum’s diary and figures out three men, Sam, Harry and Bill are possible candidates. Sophie invites her three possible dads as she is convinced she will know who her dad is by just looking at him. Dear Sophie has not heard of DNA testing obviously.

Donna has no clue that her loves from her earlier carefree, hippie days are making an appearance. Two of Donna’s friends, Tanya, a serial bride with a little help from the plastic surgeon and Rosie, a writer, have come for the wedding. There is a whole lot of singing and dancing as important truths are figured out. There is a big, fat, Greek wedding and then some more singing and dancing.

Meryl Streep is one of main reasons for making the movie somewhat watchable. As Donna, she sings, dances, falls over, and climbs attics with a goofy cheerful charm that is irresistible.

Pierce Brosnan as Sam looks positively pained as he sings while Colin Firth as Harry looks out of sorts. Stellan Skarsgard seems to have decided to manfully row that boat and sing that song and pretend he is in some other film.

Christine Baranaki (Tanya) and Julia Walters (Rosie) are competent as the girl friends while Amanda Seyfried as Sophie and Dominic Cooper as Sky provide eye candy as the young lovers.

While a lot has been said about the energy of the film, it sounds shrill and forced most of the time. All the actors have sung their songs and while Streep conquers this peak effortlessly, the same cannot be said about Firth and Brosnan.

Local colour is in the form of a Greek chorus, that provide backing vocals for the songs and we who have been brought up on our song and dance sequences with zillions of extras matching steps with the lead pair would not bat an eyelid at their appearance.

The one where many men prance about on the pier in swimming trunks and flippers was quite cool. The sea is the most brilliant cerulean blue.

Bonus features include deleted scenes, musical numbers and a making of featurette, “Birthing Mamma Mia!”

Like mentioned at the beginning of the review, this is a movie that would provoke extreme reactions; one just needs to work out which one.





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