Review – Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away – Amazing aerial acrobatic art
The Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away movie is almost completely without dialogue, with only a handful of words spoken. Instead the story is told with music and amazing aerial acrobatic art as you are immersed into a world that is a collage of bits & pieces from many of the Vegas’ Cirque du Soleil attractions.
Mia (Erica Linz) is a petite young woman who meanders into an old-school style traveling circus populated with the stereotypical oddities and freak shows. As the girl wanders the circus grounds she catches the attention of a handsome worker who is helping to erect a tent; their eyes meet and they share a moment before he is ordered back to work.
Mia runs into a very creepy clown who directs her to enter the tent where “The Aerialist” performs and she recognizes the star acrobat as the same worker whom she made eye contact with earlier. While watching his act, their eyes meet again and the distraction causes him to miss his trapeze bar and plummet to what should be his death. Instead he is sucked into the sand of the circus’ center ring and Mia jumps in to save him, only to find herself pulled into the ground funnel as well.
There’s not really much to the dream-like narrative here, but it serves its purpose well enough by bringing you into this dimension of upscale circus performances and then tying them together with the story thread of two lovers trying to find each other and allowing for some astonishing set pieces to be showcased along the way.
The fantasy worlds that have been created for this film (and I’m assuming for the live action shows that are its source material) are incredibly inventive and of an epic scale. There is often what seems like dozens of performers simultaneously enacting intricately detailed feats of astonishment, and the camera puts you into the middle of the action, up close, with dizzying affect – where you experience the magic in a way you never could by simply watching a stage show – no matter how good your seats are.
The music, which is a huge part of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, incorporates fantastic original material by composer Benoit Jutras as well as songs by Elvis and The Beatles (from the Cirque du Soleil shows Viva Elvis and The Beatles Love respectively.) The soundtrack may be weighted a little too much on the Beatles side for some viewer’s tastes, but, even if you are not a fan or familiar with their music, that shouldn’t be a problem as the tunes used are very fitting to the circus atmosphere (i.e. Octopus Garden and For the benefit of Mr. Kite, to name a couple.)
If you are already a fan of Cirque du Soleil, then you are probably going to love this movie, others are likely to become fans and will be mesmerized by the feats of human acrobatic art within this film. It’s a little slow in spots and this may not be “the greatest show on Earth,” but it’s pretty darn good. Grade: 7/10