Culture Street

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

On February 13, 2013

By Rebecca McRitchie

Written and directed by New Zealand born Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia) and produced by the visionary James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D effectively captures the magical, artistic, mysterious and thrilling stage performance that is Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D weaves together the best parts of the seven Cirque du Soleil shows that ran in Las Vegas throughout 2011: O, Mystère, , Love, Zumanity, Viva Elvis and Criss Angel’s Believe. There is little to no dialogue with the lead actress voicing only one word – “Help!” – and the narrative is incredibly thin, in parts even perplexing, and this is a shame as the movie begins quite promisingly.

Audiences will feel an overwhelming urge to clap uproariously after each performance as the routines and performers are spectacular. Some of the highlights are the acts involving water, the gravity-defying vertical walls and the spinning wheels of death. Furthermore, it goes without saying that the costume and set design is superb. The aspect of being worlds away was thoroughly evoked in the make-up alone.

As most 3D films these days, the third dimension is essentially an unnecessary and sometimes distracting element. Also, a lot of mid shots and medium close up shots are used throughout most of the performances which leaves audiences missing out on the entire simultaneous ensemble as a whole. Similarly, for singular acts, slow motion is successfully used to highlight things otherwise unseen by audiences in real time, however, in group routines the slow motion is less successful as it eliminates the illusion of a synchronous performance.

Overall I give Cirque du Soleil: World’s Away 3D 3 out of 5. The movie is no substitute for the live performances but it is a visually stunning piece of cinema that will enchant and transport audiences worlds away.

Released in cinemas across Australia on 21 February 2013

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