Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (2012)

Directed by Andrew Adamson (1)

Cast: Erica Linz and Igor Zaripov

(Watch the trailer)

Featured Cirque du Soleil Shows - O, Mystère, Kà, Love, Zumanity, Viva Elvis, Criss Angel: Believe

My favourite quote - "Every day life can sometimes seem ordinary, so it's natural to crave something more. To hunger for something that you can't describe. As it turns out, all you have to do is step inside."

Have you ever had the urge to run away with the circus when you were younger? I never did. In fact, I remember being scared of the circus when I was younger. The clowns and the strangeness of it all terrified me. That is why till today, my love for Cirque du Soleil still surprises me. I love it so much that one day, hopefully some day soon, I would love to travel the world according to Cirque du Soleil. 'What does that mean?' you ask. Well, I plan to travel around the world and watch all the Cirque du Soleil shows, even the traveling shows. And while I'm on my grand Cirque du Soleil journey, I will also explore the cities where the shows are residing at or touring.

Now let me explain how I got the Cirque du Soleil fever.

My first Cirque du Soleil experience occurred on 13th November 2009 at the MGM Grand. I was on my first solo trip and I was traveling around USA, covering 6 cities in 3 weeks. I was never fascinated by the circus, and even when the Cirque du Soleil shows Saltimbanco and Alegría came to Singapore, I wasn't the least bit interested in watching it. But when I was doing my research and planning for my great US adventure I came across the Cirque du Soleil website and watched the trailers for the shows that were showing there then. I was fascinated by what I had seen from the trailers, especially the shows O and Kà. The tickets weren't cheap but I decided to splurge and bought tickets to go see 3 Cirque du Soleil shows - O, Kà, and Mystère. And the rest is history.

What I love about Cirque du Soleil shows is its ingenuity and its high entertainment value. Every time I watch a Cirque du Soleil show, I feel like Alice did when she fell down the rabbit hole and into a strange yet fascinating new world. Every aspect of a show is well thought out and the details are unbelievable. The sets, make up, the costumes, the acts, and especially the music all work together to give the audience an out-of-this-world experience.  I think the opening voice over best describes Cirque du Soleil - "Every day life can sometimes seem ordinary, so it's natural to crave something more. To hunger for something that you can't describe. As it turns out, all you have to do is step inside."

When you step inside to watch a Cirque du Soleil show, you get swept away by its grandeur. And after watching Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, you will be floored by the details and realise the real danger these performers go through every time they perform. Of course you will realise the danger of their stunts straight away when you watch the live performance. But Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away takes a magnifying glass, in 3D no less, and magnifies the beauty and the difficulty of each beautiful and breathtaking act. When you see, close up, how trapeze artistes catch each other in mid air, you unwittingly find yourself gasping, not realising that you were holding your breath in the first place. 

I watched 3 of the 7 shows featured in the film and it was like watching old friends play and have fun again after a long time. Because I have prior knowledge of O, Mystère, Kà, I actually can differentiate which acts and segments Andrew Adamson chose to highlight in the film. And I must say he chose wisely. I also enjoyed how he cleverly linked all 7 shows together and how he incorporated the two "outside" characters Mia and The Aerialist into world of Cirque du Soleil. And he did all this with little dialogue, which is quite characteristic of the Cirque du Soleil brand. 

The film is ultimately a love story. A tale of two souls connecting and then desperately trying to keep that connection. Because of the simplicity of the tale, there really is no need for much words. The subtle but excellent performances by the two leads, Erica Linz and Igor Zaripov, captivated me and helped me stay connected to whatever is happening on screen for the entire 90 odd minutes. I am a big fan of Cirque du Soleil and this film has renewed and fuelled my interest in watching as many of their shows as possible. But even if you're not a fan, go watch this film. It's an audio-visual experience you will not regret. 

Oh if you're a Singaporean, I suggest you sign up as a GV member before buying the tickets to watch Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. Members get a $4 discount which is great because the non-member price of the ticket is $22. Ouch! But it was worth every penny! Well, for me at least. 

(1) Andrew Adamson has directed films like Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe (2005), Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), and Master Pip (2013).

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks.... 
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will take you on a wonderful journey. It will help you escape from the mundane and delve into a world full of colour and beauty. The film gives you an insight to the world of Cirque du Soleil you will never get even if you go on the backstage tour of O. Because the 3D cameras take you so close to performers, you get the feeling like you are one of the performers on stage. This is a film where the use of 3D really helps pack a punch instead of just because its an 'in' thing. This film is a love letter to the genius of the Cirque du Soleil brand. And yes, this is absolutely the biased view of a Cirque du Soleil fan! (5 of 5)

* Movie Poster from Wikipedia

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