Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Movie Music and More 24# : "Evita" (1996)

(I promise not to talk about only Antonio Banderas. --Hamlette)

Although The Phantom of the Opera is the first Andrew Lloyd Webber musical I heard, Evita is the first I saw because it was made into a movie starring Antonio Banderas and Madonna, which I rented with a college friend.  I promptly fell madly in love with it (the movie, not the friend) and went right out and bought the soundtrack.  The movie is rich, nuanced, probably historically inaccurate, and wonderful.

Everyone knows "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," so I won't say much about it here.  There's a reason it's famous, though -- it's quite stirring.  I'm always disappointed it's not actually about a guy named Argentina, though.  I heard a bunch of the music before I saw the movie, but I didn't know the story line at all, so I made up what I thought all the songs were about, and on some of them I was fairly close (hard not to figure out "Another Suitcase, Another Hall"), but on others, I was very off.

Speaking of "Another Suitcase, Another Hall," here it is.  I like how subdued and heart-achy it is.  Much of Evita is militant and brash, but this is very emotional.  It's about how young Eva has to turn to being a "kept woman" to support herself, but she never stays with a man long, so she always ends up holding her suitcase, standing in a hall outside a place she's leaving.

Here's a much more fun song, "And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)."  This one has such a great energy, and of course, lots of Antonio Banderas singing.  In the musical, his character Che is the narrator, but he also interacts with other characters, he doesn't just stand on the sidelines and watch, though sometimes he does that too.  It's a really nifty device, and one of my favorite things about Evita.  In this song, Che is explaining how, once she's the first lady of Argentina, Eva starts this fund to help the poor, but everyone's so busy collecting and distributing the money, no one's keeping books, so there might be some corruption going on, but who cares as long as the money keeps pouring out, right?

"High Flying, Adored" is my most favoritest song on the whole soundtrack.  Che singing about how Eva has become super famous, but so easily and so young that she's in danger of becoming bored with everything.  It is elegant and soaring and delicious.  Eva insists it won't be a problem, she's not that special.

Even if you don't like musicals (and that's not a sin), if you're interested in politics, corruption, or the history of South America (though I've heard this is not entirely accurate), you might enjoy it.  It's rated PG, but there is a lot of innuendo, the Argentinian version of the middle finger, some rough language, and violence.  You can read's Parent's Guide for it here if you want to know more.  Also, it's a light opera more than just a musical -- nearly every line is song, as is typical for Andrew Lloyd' Webber's shows.  People don't periodically dance about and burst into song, they do that for the whole movie.

You knew I was gonna add one more picture of Antonio Banderas, didn't you?  I can't help it -- he's perfect in this.


  1. Ohhhhh *clutches at heart*

    Hamlette. This is perfect.

    As you know, I'm a HUGE Evita fan, too, and this post made me so happy:D You're absolutely right: Antonio Banderas is perfect in this. I mean, dang, Zorro can sing, can't he?;) Seriously, though--he's got a really good voice. AND HIS SONGS ARE SO WONDERFUL. I really love "Don't Cry For Me" (I thought it was about an actual person, too!), "Another Suitcase," "High Flying," and "The Money Kept Rolling In," as well, so I was happy you focused on them:D What are your thoughts on "Let's Hear It For the Rainbow Tour"? I wasn't nuts about it the first couple of times around, but then I sort of fell in love with it. I also really like how Antonio Banderas shakes his head and does the little "tsk, tsk" thing before mouthing "no" for the last time, hee.

    Thank you for this post!

    1. Hee. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      I've been known to program my CD player so it plays only Che's songs, just to drown in them.

      "Rainbow Tour" cracks me up, and so does "Goodnight, and Thank You," and "Peron's Latest Flame." They make me laugh and laugh, but they do contain some not-appropriate-for-all-ages lyrics, so I didn't want to include them here. But they're so funny -- lines like, "This has really been your year, Miss Duarte/Tell us where you go from here, Miss Duarte/Which are the roles that you yearn to play/Whom did you sleep -- dine with yesterday?" So, so funny, and they zip past so fast you have to listen to them several times to catch all the jabs and barbs.

      Also, the "tsk, tsk. No" thing is adorable.

      You're welcome! Thanks for your enthusiastic response to it :-) James has given me permission to slip in a musical soundtrack every now and then, even though he himself doesn't care much for musicals, so I've started with this one.

    2. I definitely did!:D

      That's a good idea. I wonder if I could find a way to do that with my iPod…hmm…;)

      Haha, I know what you mean. I'm not as big a fan of "Goodnight, and Thank You" or "Peron's Latest Flame" for that precise reason, but I do really like "Rainbow Tour." Thankfully, the inappropriate content for that one is kept to a minimum, and it's just so ingenuous and delightful. "They equate Peron with Mussolini/Can't think why." Oh, Che;) I know! That's another thing I love about this movie--it doesn't hit you how awesome it is until you've watched it a couple times.

      He's priceless. The end.

      Of course! Anytime someone starts talking about a musical I know, I'm THERE;D Yay! So there's more to come?

    3. Yup, I've got quite a few soundtracks for musicals, so there will be more!


One rule: No strong profanity. If you want to link to one of your posts, please do; I am always interested in other reviews and such.

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