Benjamin Millepied’s Carmen is a Dance-infused Retelling of Bizet’s Opera

-Brenda Hillegas

Carmen is very loosely based on the classic opera of the same name, but the movie’s gorgeous cinematography with dance sequences, fast-paced adventure, and a budding romance make this a masterpiece in its own right.

Opening this Friday, the story (screenplay by Alexander Dinelaris Jr.) follows Carmen (Barrera), a young woman who witnesses the murder of her mother and must flee her home in the Mexican desert to cross the border to America. She survives a run-in with a border guard and his patrol partner with PTSD, Aidan (Mescal). After a deadly standoff, Carmen and Aiden must escape together and head to LA in search of Carmen’s godmother who owns a nightclub. How long can they stay safe as the police are closing in?

Choreographer Benjamin Millepied in his directorial debut, combined with an original score from by Nicholas Britell is enough to draw me in, but it’s the chemistry from recent Oscar nominee Paul Mescal and Melissa Barrera (In The Heights) that really causes Carmen to shine with uniqueness. This is a movie unlike any other you’ve seen recently.

Carmen is in theatres on April 21st.

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