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Evita (1996)

The story of Eva Peron

Rating: 2/10

Running Time: 134 minutes

UK Certificate: PG


I think it best to point out from the off that I’m not entirely against musicals. I mean, hey – I love Little Shop of Horrors! And ‘Bugsy Malone’? Great stuff. But ‘Evita’, I’ve decided, is not a musical. It’s a noise. That’s the only way I can describe a film that substitutes good quality individual songs for the needless warbling of every last word, never stopping to care whether there’s any sort of decent melody involved or not. From start to finish, ‘Evita’ is just one long, painful 134-minute noise.

Madonna struggles her way through the role of Eva Peron, the third most famous thing to come out of Argentina after Diego Maradona and tax evasion. In the first half of the 20th Century, she became the missus of Argentinean president Juan Peron (here played by Jonathan Pryce), and swiftly won over the working classes with her humble background and nice hair.

Told via the remarkably tuneless music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, watching the film is genuinely exhausting, with every 20 minutes feeling more like two hours. God knows how long this thing would have dragged on for if the poor woman had actually lived beyond her 30s. Yet, despite its mind-numbing length, the plot itself seems rushed and tells us little about who “Evita” actually was. Tim Rice’s lyrics, if you can be bothered making the huge effort required to listen to them, offer little insight into why any of the events covered are actually happening, and much of what is being sung is basically nonsense.

Others taking part include craggy-faced Geordie Jimmy Nail as a bar-room crooner (which must be a real drag considering he sings each sentence in everyday life anyway) and Irish songstress Andrea Corr as Pressie Juan’s bit on the side. Most bizarre of all, however, is Antonio Banderas in a role akin to that squeaky-voiced teen from ‘The Simpsons’ who literally works everywhere. Wherever the story moves, Banderas is there – sweeping the floor, waiting on tables, working the projector in the President’s private cinema. It seems he can do just about anything except sing without making silly over-exaggerated faces.

It's Got: Lots of weeping. Well, at least it’s a break from the singing.

It Needs: Considerably better music (the ditty about wanting to be part of the “Buenos Aires big apple” is particularly awful).

DVD Extras It doesn’t have any. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10


Dreadful songs being poorly sung and a story being poorly told. I’d rather listen to fingernails being dragged along a blackboard than have to sit through this again.