9 July 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Just as the opera 'La Boheme' has charm, this film also has charm
There were two primary reasons for seeing 'Zauber Der Boheme' ('Charm of La Boheme'). One was my love of Puccini's opera, which 'Zauber Der Boheme' updates. The other was Marta Eggerth, who has really grown on me recently.
'Zauber Der Boheme' may not be a great film, but it is a good one with wonderful music and two leads on top form. It is agreed that it does a little too excessively melodramatic in places, though to be fair there was always going to be the trap of that happening, and momentum sags occasionally The film's print is not always great, with the picture quality in need of more clarity and focus which would have allowed one to appreciate the otherwise beautiful cinematography better.
However, Eggerth is on top form, her performance is delicate, charming and moving with flashes of humour. She has an attractive presence too, while being believably frail when necessary, and sings a dream (singing music here that her voice is perfect for). Her real life husband Jan Kiepura is handsome, youthful and dashing, with the right touch of ardour and idealism. He doesn't fare too badly as an actor, if not as good as Eggerth, and while his singing does have a finesse in places it is a truly lovely sound and he sings with feeling and lively style. The two are magical together.
Eggerth and Kiepura are served well by a good supporting cast, with fun turns from Paul Kemp, Oscar Sima and Theo Liggins. It's all directed very capably and it's rarely dull.
Imperfect print aside, 'Zauber Der Boheme' is beautifully shot and sumptuously but also atmospherically produced in costumes and sets. The music is wonderful, as to be expected, while there is a lovely mix on the most part of wicked humour and tender pathos. The story compels and draws one right in, even though the surprises factor is low, right up to the heart-wrenching ending.
Overall, has a lot of charm, well performed and it delivers on the emotion. 7/10 Bethany Cox