x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The Nutcracker in 3D

For some reason, the plot of this Nutcracker has very little to do with the fairy-tale told by the ballet.

Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Starring: Elle Fanning, John Turturro, Nathan Lane
*

Boasting an impressive US$90 million (Dh330m) budget, The Nutcracker in 3D is an interpretation of the classic ballet. Fanning stars as Mary, a bored young girl whose Christmas is brightened by her Uncle Albert (Lane), a mysterious man who gives her a nutcracker (named NC) as a gift.

To Mary’s surprise, the nutcracker comes to life and takes her on an adventure to its magical homeland, which has been turned into a dystopia by the evil Rat King (Turturro). Together with her brother Max, she must overthrow this powerful foe to save NC and stop the Rat King’s master plan.

A frankly bewildering attempt at serious cinema, The Nutcracker in 3D takes the interesting, if baffling, decision of having essentially nothing to do with the original story. The actors wander around trying to make sense of (among other things) Nazi-esque villains (led by Turturro, buried in make-up), a bad script and computer-generated effects that look jarring and cartoonlike.

Simply throwing as much expensive imagery at the screen as possible and hoping to pass it off as a film, the director Konchalovsky has turned a beloved holiday classic into something with very little festive spirit, or any sort of cohesion. A box-office bomb in every sense of the word.

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