Scintillating performance for “Cirque de Soleil” on silver screen

By David Combest

January 30, 2013

“Cirque du Soleil” needs no introduction.

The circus thrives off a reputation of having spellbinding performances. A friend of mine raved over their performance to songs of The Beatles when he saw them perform. I didn’t know much about the circus or its performances but I remembered an episode from “The Simpsons” which poked good-natured fun at the circus and I couldn’t help but chuckle when that scene popped up in my mind.

I have been interested in the show and have heard nothing but good things about it and in fact, I would like to see a live show one day and still do. Thanks in part to “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” I have made it a goal to see a live show at some point in my life.

This film really took me by surprise.

I thought the film would be interesting or at least give me a gist of how the circus operates. My main concern was how a circus that is known for its surreal performances would pan out on the silver screen.

As soon as the movie started, I knew it would be a great one.

The film begins with a woman by the name of Mia visiting a traveling carnival somewhere in the Midwest. A silent clown hands her a poster for the carnival’s main attraction – “The Aerialist.” Mia goes to the tent, where there is a small crowd watching the show.

The “Aerialist” misses a catch and falls to the tent’s floor. As soon as he hits the ground, the sand of the tent’s floor spills into another world.  Mia jumps in after him. The story to the film isn’t original; it’s just Mia and “The Aerialist” trying to find one another as they go from tent to tent or alternate worlds, which are built on cloud tops. Each world has a performance done by the circus performers.

The performances and shots are visually stunning. The film is mind-bending both from the amazing performances and the special effects. The 3D adds to the beauty of the movie and the performers seem to jump off the screen. One can’t help but feel as if you are in the audience watching this in real time. Another plus is that the viewer gets a general overview of how the circus is set up.

They fuse The Beatles into the story as well, which adds even more range to the film. The special effects are top notch and work well with the movie, but they do not overshadow the fact that it is indeed the circus itself that captures the audience’s interest. The film is visually beautiful and appropriately titled. The audience feels a strong sense of being worlds away while loving every second of it.