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The Magic Flute

5. The Magic Flute

Despite being most widely known for his Shakespearean work, Branagh has an eclectic streak and a taste for oddities. The Magic Flute is based on the Mozart opera and adapted into a World War I setting, surely one of the most surreal ideas Branagh has committed to film. The movie was timed to celebrate the 250th birthday of the composer and it had an audacity that he likely would be proud of. Far from being entirely successful, but Branagh’s direction and ideas are exhilarating and it was interesting to see him way outside his comfort zone.

The cast was made up entirely of cinematic unknowns as Branagh focussed on casting classically trained singers for the parts. It flopped back in 2006 and only recently received a DVD release in the US, but it’s a daring, excitable picture.

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