About ten years ago, we were having pasta in a restaurant in Florence when we noticed a photograph of Pavarotti and our waiter. We asked him about it and his face lit us. "Maestro Pavarotti" he said, "he comes here often – he likes our pasta. Every time he comes it is like a party – and we have to bring in an extra chef."
Pavarotti was clearly loved by so many people, with a voice in a million and a larger than life personality to match. And did we like the movie. Well, one answer is that, unlike most movies, I have already seen it twice.
To start with the obvious. Given that a large percentage of the movie features Pavarotti singing, it is worth it alone to hear that voice at its best in surround sound.
And yes, it does outline his life story, touching on the flaws fleetingly. Even his ex-wife, for the most part, speaks well of him. John Sutherland, Angela Gheorghiu, and Vittorio Grigolo all feature – Pavarotti describing Sutherland as having the best singing technique ever – not one for understatement.
We watch the evolution from opera singer to the Three Tenors, and his controversial concerts, Pavarotti and friends, where he raised money for charity with pop stars like Sting and Bono, and became good friends with Princess Diana.
Who knew that Bono could think so well and speak so well? Or that the extroverted Pavarotti was shaking with nerves before most performances.
This was one of those rare movies where the audience (both times) waited as the credits rolled because they did not want to leave the wonderful soundtrack.
Rotten Tomatoes give Pavarotti stellar scores – no surprises here – anyone with even the slightest of musical ears will love it.
And would I go for the third time? You bet, I would.