Rock Opera – review

If they wanted Oscar and Andre to stand out from the rest of the characters, they did an excellent job. As I already said, the actor and actress who played Andre and Oscar were really talented and did succeed in bringing the characters to life.

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But it was not only the result of the actor and actress’ hard working but also screen writer, director…they know the characters well and let their roles flow out smoothly. When I was watching, I didn’t understand why but I felt like whenever there was Oscar, there was also Andre, like they were a part of each other and will never part, like they were “shadow and light”.

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Then later I recognized that they did purposely put Oscar and Andre together in almost every scene. The only time the two parted was after he ripped her shirt off, then Oscar went to say good bye to Marie Antoinette, told her father that she had chosen to be by the people’s side.

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Before that, Andre was always with her, even in court

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And then they reunited to fight for the people. It was just for a short moment in the musical that they weren’t together.

Oscar too, admited it when it was her turn to confess her feeling to Andre. She said something like if she ever missed anything, it was him, he had always been there for her.

I mean, the fact they were always together was intentionally, but it went on so natural that we didn’t know it was the staffs that set things up, we just watched and thought they were meant for each other.

And then they hugged.

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I honestly expected more than a friendly hug. No, don’t think about any R rated scene, just a kiss, at the very least. I mean, come on, they had been loving each other for more than 20 years. And just a hug?

On the contrary with Oscar and Andre relationship, the other relationships in this musical were kinda blurry. That scene Oscar said good bye to Antoinette was the only scene to describe their relationship. There was nothing else saying they were good friends, that Antoinette in fact really cared for Oscar and was desperate when her only friend left her.

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49It was the same with Antoinette and Louis, besides being an additional fun detail, I couldn’t see that King Louis XVI loved his wife. If there ever was something that showed his love, it was that he was a little boy and she was his favorite toy that he didn’t want to lose. Louis was more of a clown in this musical and was completely different from the manga and anime.  With funny make up and costume, annoying high pitch voice, his character put a dramatically effect to the show, where he appeared to be a naive (more like stupid) cuckolded King. I do refer the shy boy who was unable to show his love to his wife and had to watch her fell into another man’s arms in the manga and anime. But as I said, this version of Louis is suitable for a theater adoption of the story.

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One other relationship that I think had followed the original story’s spirit is the one of Oscar, Andre, and Nanny. The actress who played Nanny looked nowhere near the nanny in manga/anime.

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But it was how she yelled Andre’s name, how she knocked his head, how she told everybody about her grandson, how she blasted with everyone about Oscar being beautiful in a dress…that made me feel this old woman truly had been taking care of Oscar and Andre for her entire life, and loved them very much. Doesn’t that “knocking head” scene look exactly like in the anime?

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This musical, in fact, followed the anime, not the manga. Hence the line “a rose can never be a lilac”. The ripping shirt scene (yeah, the ripping shirt scene >:D) was just like in the anime. Oscar told Andre she wanted to be a man, and he said a rose is always a rose. She hit him, then he torn her shirt.

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The only thing missing here was a kiss, which I think is unacceptable. In both manga and anime, Andre kissed Oscar before he torn her shirt off.

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It might be just a small detail, but it shows that he didn’t aim to trip her naked, he just wanted to kiss her, to show that he loved her. The ripping shirt was just an accident. Here this musical gave a feeling that he wanted to harm her, to show her that he was a man and she was a woman, and that a woman was supposed to be weaker (and not doing the men job?). That is just so…not Andre.

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If I’m not very happy with the ripping shirt scene (but I don’t hate it either, again, the acting was wonderful), I’m very impressed with the ending scene where Andre was shot. Well, just like in the anime, he was just randomly got shot, not that he took the shot to protect Oscar. But here the one thing that made it better than the anime scene was the song. He told her not to cry, whispered “I have a dream, which you’ll never know…I love you…I’ll always love you…” they kissed and then he died 😥

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The way Oscar screamed for him to stay and that now she’s all alone really broke my heart

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The song added to the effect too

Ora, che intorno sento il gran silenzio
Ora, anch’io ti amavo e tu non lo saprai mai

Now I can feel silence surrounding me.
Now, I love you and you’ll never know.

To add more tragedy to this story, it was Oscar’s father who was in charge of the Royal guard fighting against the people, and it was also him who gave the order to shot her, knowing that he was killing his daughter.

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The heartless “Fire” echoed in the room, then dropped into silence and a white rose appeared before the show ended.

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As a ROV fan, I really wanted to see the white flag on top of the Bastille. But as a mere audience, I’m more satisfied with this ending. Everything, every detail in the story was already played out, this is a show about Andre and Oscar, not about the revolution, anything more would ruin the entire musical. It ended where it had to end, just that simple.

One thing I dislike about this show is, they wanted to archive too many thing in just a short timeframe. They wanted to focus on Oscar and Andre, but they also wanted to follow the original plot as much as possible. Good intention? Yes, but it didn’t lead to good result.

In the ball where Oscar danced with Fersen, all the four “Roses of Versailles” were there to express their feelings. André knew that Oscar was in love with Fersen and that hurt him. Oscar wanted Fersen to look at her, but he was always looking at Antoinette. Meanwhile Antoinette wanted Fersen to think of her even if he was dancing with another woman. And Fersen himself wasn’t sure about his decision. He wanted to be with Antonette, but that was just impossible.

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I’m not saying this scene was poor played, I’m saying if they want to put Oscar and Andre at top priority, then just do it. Just forget other characters and only show Oscar and Andre’s feelings here in this scene, so that the audiences could see their misery more clearly. Why bother to add Antoinette and Fersen, just to forget them later? There was no real ending for Antoinette and Fersen, except for them confessing their love and then parted right after this scene. I’m not sure but maybe he was saying that what between them wouldn’t work out, because Fersen then never showed up again. I have never really been a fan of Fersen but at least in the manga and anime, he kept running back to be by Antoinette’s side.

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They also seemed to mess up the ending. They made Marie Antoinette died before the Bastille event. I didn’t hear very clearly but think they did let the execution happen before the revolution, because I heard something about the Queen’s sin and punishment, and the sound of metal (the blade?) falling down. This scene actually gave the character Marie Antoinette some attention as she was sitting there, singing the same song she did earlier, when she talked about her new life as a crown Princess

68Ma sono una bambina io mi sento piccola e vorrei
Tornare a quando voi mi tenevate fra le braccia

I’m all just a little girl, I feel small and all I ever want is
to go back to where you would be holding me in your arms.

It was the letter she wrote to her mother, and now she really was going to where her mother would embrace her. Probably because this is the only song to show Antoinette’s life, it’s quite on point and sharply expresses her thoughts. I’m gonna translate this song too. This little space for Antoinette to show her role was good and well planed, but not enough. I actually missed it the first time I watched the musical. Maybe my bad Italian was a reason, but the entire musical was too focus on Andre and Oscar that other characters just couldn’t catch my eyes.

There are some other characters I didn’t talk about: Duke Orleans, Sophi (Bastien’s sister), Louis XV, and maybe some more that I don’t remember. It’s because they didn’t catch my attention at all. Perhaps only Duke Orleans did.

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No, not his makeup that interested me, but it was because he appeared to be a smart man, he did tell Oscar’s father that his daughter have feeling for Fersen. And he seemed to be going around flirting with cute guys 😄

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Seriously, he was an interesting character, I just wish that I could understand more of what he said.

In conclusion, as I said in the short review I made long ago: “The musical, directed by the young Andrea Palotto differs from the original story at some point, however, remained faithful to the basic content, and had an acting method suitable for theatrical performance.”, there were changes, but despite all the changes and difference, the casting are well suitable for the characters. The acting also fits the characters’ personalities. Plus the wonderful music, this is a must-watch show that would please ROV fans, especially those who are in love with Oscar and Andre (who don’t?).

(songs translation next page)

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