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Johanna review

Enjoy Casualty? Bit of an opera buff? Then you’re the perfect viewer for Kornél Mundruczó’s medical musical, which chooses to relocate the Joan of Arc story to a hospital in Budapest. The Maid of Orleans becomes Johanna (Orsi Toth), a light-fingered morphine addict who OD’s herself comatose. Making a miraculous recovery, she discovers a talent for shagging the sick back to health. While singing. Branding her a whore, the docs and nurses embark on a witchhunt.

Sounds barmy, doesn’t it? Alas, it’s a bit of a bore, especially compared to the verve and vibrancy of recent Bizet rejig U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha. Nice camerawork and novel lyrics (“Let’s go to urology!”) can’t make up for a lack of colour in both characters and setting, the bogey-green interiors leaving the eye so sore you may need a trip to A&E. Despite staying true to the legend, the ending’s so dour it’s hard to see why any of it martyrs.

 

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