28 July 2005 | belcanto26
An Opportunity Again Missed
Maria Callas was an artist of such magnitude that it seems impossible for any filmed biography to do her justice. Besides, who could really play Maria Callas? Well, the actress featured here does as well as anyone else could, which is, I guess, adequate. Of much greater importance is the banality of the story. I can't imagine Maria Callas in the 1970's even considering doing what the film suggests. By 1965, it was painfully obvious that Callas, despite her glamorous image and appearance, could never, even at age 41, have reconstructed her once fabulous voice, a voice which in its prime could accomplish miracles. In any case, it is folly to suggest that Callas would have elected to do a film version of "Carmen" ( a role she never cared for) with a dubbed recording she had made years earlier. I could see "Norma", "Tosca" or "Traviata", but never "Carmen". Larry Kelly actually died several years before Callas, so his presence here is pure fiction ------- which is what the film actually is. As a way to pass 108 minutes, the film is adequate, but if you're looking for a documentation of Maria Callas in her final years, you will have to keep looking. I doubt whether you will ever find what you are looking for because it seems highly unlikely that the real Callas, ever the elusive firefly, will ever be captured and preserved.