Movie: “The Nutcracker in 3D” (2011)
Title: The Nutcracker in 3D
Director: Andrej Konchalovskij
Written by: Chris Solimine, Andreij Konchalovskij
Music: Eduard Artemiev
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Starring: Elle Fanning, Charlie Rowe, Aaron Michael Drozin,Nathan Lane, John Turturro.
Lenght: 110 min
Literature, theatre and film industry are closely interconnected, and a huge number of masterpieces test or have tested the ability of directors.
It is enough to think about the influence of Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie with Hercules Poirot or Shakespeare with Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth.
“The Nutcracker in 3D” is the last movie by the Russian director Andrej Konchalovskij, clearly inspired by the famous ballet which Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky set to music.
The theatrical work was adapted from the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
Set in Vienna, the movie tells the story of two children, Mary (Elle Fanning) and her brother Max (Aaron Michael Drozin), during the Christmas period.
One evening their parents leave home to attend a worldly event, and Uncle Albert (Natham Lane) has the duty to look after the children.
Albert is an eccentric man, clever, beloved by his niece and nephew, and a toy-lover.
He gives them a house-doll with inside three singular puppets: a cycling-monkey, a sleeping clown and a coloured drummer boy, but the best surprise is a wooden nutcracker toy soldier that is shaped (Charlie Rowe).
He called him NC and where it comes from is a mystery, “I would tell you, but if I do it, I have to kill you”, the uncle answers playfully.
After dinner the children go to sleep, and during the night the nutcracker comes to life, waking Mary for asking help, because he is a prince whom a spell transformed in nutcracker.
The cruel Mouse King (John Turturro) invaded his country to destroy every toy and starting a process of ‘ratization’ of the citizens.
The little puppet and his house-doll friends will lead Mary and her brother Max in an incredible fight to save the realm with no holds barred, which will finish with their victory.
This fairy tale is not for children. Konchalovskij included a huge number of cultural references that are not simply understandable.
Uncle Albert is a clear homage to Albert Einstein – he is a supporter of relativity, so nothing is pre-determined, and he explains this theory to Mary and Max writing the famous formula E= mc2 on a small blackboard.
The mum of the children is a upholder of the psychoanalysis. “Joseph listen, do you remember what doctor Freud told us about child psychology and dreams?” she will remind her husband after Mary tells them of the encounter with the alive nutcracker.
Citing Shakespeare, before choosing to escape, the Mouse King will cry out, “To be or not to be that is the question”.
Despite the cultural efforts and the important work at which the movie is inspired, the result disappoints the viewer.
The dark and gloomy atmosphere turns out to be ponderous and excessive, and even if the sequence of the first half is fluent and quite pleasant, the second half lost strength and speed, making dull on the chase and conflict between the prince and the Mouse King.
A good TV movie for passing a cold and snowy evening at home, but for which is not worth to spend the cost of cinema ticket.