Words Wal Reid

“Rarely does a film leave the viewer wanting, however, it’s fair to say, Pavarotti is an excruciatingly pleasurable watch.”

The Ron Howard film (yep, the Backdraft & Happy Days dude) explores the imbued fragility of a man weakened by beautiful women. This matriarchal effect, heavily influenced Italian Opera star Luciano Pavarotti. He was constantly surrounded by the women folk in his life, exposing his self-imposed humanity. The film’s subtle nuances & his zeal for life suggests he was after all, mere human – to some, a genius or Maestro.

Any documentary that can keep me engaged for two hours should be applauded. Without the pleasure of elbowing my accompanied guest to wake up, Pavarotti’s life story spoke volumes to me. I mean, I don’t care so much for his music or attest to knowing one iota of his life, but somehow the film spoke to the core of the viewer, myself included. His infidelity with wife and marriage to Nicoletta Mantivani thirty-four years his junior, was shown in a way that had me siding with him and still give him a thumbs up when the credits were rolling.

This is where Howard excels. Highlighting Pavarotti’s paradoxes, a man that was not without fault but held with high esteem a devoted love for his family and wife. He was in essence put on the podium by fans, but at the core remained “the peoples singer”, making friends wherever he played or travelled.

His intimate relationships with Princess Diana & Bono are brought to he fray as his flirt with ‘Popera” which garnished admonishment from the Opera puritans. His innate ability to hit the “high C’s” made him a singing phenom and one of the greatest voices of the 20th Century. Soprano Carol Vaness beautifully sums Him up noting the clarity of his voice, adding, it was so clear you “could see the molecules.”

Was it just me or did Pavarotti look like actor Jack Black as a younger man? Funny, all I can remember of Pavarotti since a wee lad was his portly size, scruffy comb over and bearded smile. Rarely does a film leave the viewer wanting, however, it’s fair to say, Pavarotti is an excruciatingly pleasurable watch. The last scene of the film where he sings with such gusto with the Three Tenors, leaves you with goosebumps and a new found respect for the singer. Long may his legacy reign. In cinemas June 13th.