The Magic Flute (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Poor Kenneth Branagh. After the critical pasting he received last week for his remake of Sleuth, I'm afraid this week's news isn't much better. His flamboyant rendering of the Mozart opera isn't as smug and stagey as Sleuth, but it is insufferable and 40 minutes longer.

Set in a stylised Neverland that echoes the trenches of the Western Front, it plays out the daft romantic shenanigans with no little gusto, but still leaves you wondering why they bothered. Opera should be seen in the opera house: enclosing it within a film screen and obliging your cast to lip-synch along to their parts does neither art form any favours.