Review: Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 3D

Geek Culture

Forest SceneForest Scene

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Please take note that this particular Blu-ray disc will display in 2D without the required hardware. To watch this movie in Blu-ray 3D, you will need a 3D-capable television that comes with active-shutter glasses (LC shutter glasses) and a 3D-capable Blu-ray player.

Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 3D is a fantasy of color, movement and sound that depict the stages of human development from birth to maturity in a kind of visual parable. A different Cirque du Soleil act dramatizes each of the stages of development. The Cirque du Soleil trademark performance using color, light, music and costume is paired with a background environment of different natural and historical landmarks around the globe. The initial Great Bang of light and sound (the String theorists would be proud) represents the universe’s formation. The performance leads us through the birth of the Everyman, who travels from childhood, adolescence, manhood, and on to a mature age. The birth of the metaphorical Child, who begins the great “journey of man,” is symbolized by synchronized underwater swimmers. Then, he is shown in a forest setting as a youth, guided only by his instincts, symbolized by bird-like acrobats. His adolescent stage is in a desert, where a man spins a large cube of metal tubing, which catches fire. He leaves his instinct-guides, and teleports into a garden where two figures dance in a pond. The balancing act of the man and the woman supporting each other teaches the boy what love means, and he becomes a man. He is offered wealth (in the form of a golden bowler) by a devilish stilt-walker. In an ornately decorated room, a dozen acrobats and a little girl rekindle the old man’s youthful nature and love.

Garden SceneGarden Scene

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

I thought the 3D effects of the film were quite understated throughout the action sequences. The most thrilling 3D effect that I experienced was when the boy meets the clowns in the forest. In this scene, the clowns swing from trapezes in the Redwoods. When the camera is filming from above or from underneath the trapezes, you feel the 3D depth-effects of twisting and turning, the ones you’re looking for in a 3D film (of a circus troupe anyway). But Cirque du Soleil Journey of Man is not great for it’s 3D effects, most of which are understated and subtle. The reason this is a great Blu-ray disc is that the artistry on the screen is really a prodigious quality. It’s more than a circus act, it’s a cultural presentation that blends like a kaleidoscope: a fantastic soundtrack of Benoît Jutras, wonderful scenic backdrops and a prodigious cast of artist-acrobats, whose performances will thrill all of the family, even the two year olds.

Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 3D is directed by Keith Melton, and narrated by Ian McKellen.

Ornate Hall Ornate Hall

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

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