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Mamma Mia

  | March 07, 2014 09:48 IST
Mamma Mia
  • Genre:
  • Cast:
    Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard
  • Director:
    Phyllida Lloyd
  • Writer:
Mamma Mia is a delirious film. Let me take that back - the word film here is a gross exaggeration. This isn't a film at all. Mamma Mia is a string of highly contagious Abba songs hung together on the flimsiest of plots. It's contrived, campy and so excessive that it makes even the louder Bollywood products seem positively restrained. Based on the blockbuster stage musical, Mamma Mia boasts of a boatload of names - Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Tom Hanks as executive producer. But here they seem to have collectively decided to, cinematically speaking, slum it. As I watched these luminous actors belt out Abba hits like Dancing Queen and Voulez Vous, I thought: how can so many talented people create such a cheesy film? But Mamma Mia is no ordinary cheese. It's superbly vapid but also funny and exuberant. Yes, you will roll up your eyes up at this lame story of a young girl who invites three of her mother's ex-boyfriends to their gorgeous Greek island home so she can figure out who her father is. But, if like most people of a certain age, you grew up on the junky pop tunes of Abba, you will find yourself singing the songs loudly - India's got the sing-along version of the film so the lyrics run as subtitles and you are free to let loose your inner pop star. This is the best part of the film. The rest is bland photography, tepid melodrama and some cringe-inducing acting. Meryl Streep, one of the greatest living actors in the world, is embarrassingly over the top. She seems to be making up for all those years of nuanced, textured performances that won her 12 Oscar nominations and two Awards. But the most unintentionally comical moment in the film belongs to Pierce Brosnan who looks like he has a fierce stomach-ache as he bellows out SOS. Mamma Mia has been directed by British stage director Phyllida Lloyd who also oversaw the original London production of the play. Unlike the play however, the film feels strenuously long and torturously cheerful. Of course Abba fans are guaranteed to have a blast. This one is for them.
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