Russian director Andrei Konchalov-sky works magic with ETA Hoffman’s classic tale in his latest film, The Nutcracker in 3D
. Konchalovsky, whose vast repertoire includes plays, circus shows as well as operas, says that he loves fairytales. “While this is not my usual style of filmmaking, I have always loved magical stories,” he says.
Based on the story that inspired acclaimed Russian composer Piotr Tchaikovsky to create the music for the iconic ballet, Konchalovsky insists his version is a modern adaptation and different from both the novel and the ballet. “Since the action in my film takes place in 20th century Vienna, the story takes a different course,” he says.
He adds, “The film follows nine-year-old Mary (Elle Fanning) whose dull Viennese Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her beloved Uncle Albert (Nathan Lane) and his gift of an enchanted nutcracker.” The film includes eight new songs penned by Oscar-winning lyricist Tim Rice (The Lion King).
Mary’s new friend The Nutcracker (Charlie Rowe) comes to life on Christmas night. The director says, “Nutcracker takes her on a wondrous journey into a magical world of fairies, sugarplums, and others that come to life. That’s when she realises that this kingdom is facing danger from the tyrannical rule of the evil Rat King (John Turturro).” The story encapsulate Mary’s adventurous journey to rescue the prince (Nutcracker) and bring back his usurped kingdom.
The director informs he was lucky to get Elle Fanning for the lead role. “Usually the main roles go to the actors who are able to dance, sing and are willing to make time for the film. Because of the nature of our screenplay, we needed to cast slightly unconventional actors who are hard to find,” he says.