Dalida (2016) Poster

(2016)

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8/10
Biopic so well rooted in reality, fitting easily even as a docu stand-in
Davor-Blazevic-19591 March 2017
With her powerful performances and dramatic emotional investment to her singing, unmatched even today, Egyptian born singer and actress, named by her Italian parents Yolanda Cristina Gigliotti, better known as Dalida, undoubtedly holds a unique place in the history of European and wider--including Middle East, Russia, Japan, Canada--popular music.

By the time I reached my teens (in early 1970's) a middle-aged gentleman from the neighbourhood has already accrued a good collection of Dalida's records, and that's how I was introduced to her singing, and remained her fan ever since, for four and half decades already. Contributive to that is the circumstance that last ten years I've been living and working in Lebanon, with Dalida's strong presence in its musical scene, and with her faithful audience, very much alive even three decades after her untimely demise.

That's why I have been very enthusiastic to see the movie based on her life, but also a bit concerned about it. Now that the movie is out and I have seen it, I'm very pleased to say that it has met my expectations to the greatest extent.

A number of elements are greatly contributing to the solid success and good quality of the French produced biopic, simply titled "Dalida" (2016). Based on my earlier findings and details known, story follows Dalida's life meticulously and faithfully, life filled with professional successes and personal torments and unhappiness. Actors have done an extraordinary job, which is especially important in the case of the leading actress, Sveva Alviti, who has brought to screen the title character--portrayed at the right measure, faithfully, decently and respectfully--but also actors impersonating key players in Dalida's life, her brothers (the younger one, Bruno-Orlando, plausibly depicted by Riccardo Scamarcio, performing as her career manager since 1966) as well as her professional companions, and partners in her private life. Finally, identification achieved thanks to the fascinating physical resemblance of the leading actress, as well as her successfully accomplished impression of Dalida's on-stage (and otherwise) presence and mannerisms, is certainly not disadvantageous.

According to her biographers, Dalida performed and recorded in more than ten different languages, while being fluent in at least half of that number. However, due to the fact that her career has shot to stardom in France, and her success has been most persistently maintained across the French-speaking music scene, lyrics of her songs are mainly in French. Therefore, to me, a non-French speaker, her songs were appealing primarily because of the power of her performance, ranging between its modest intimacy and dramatic intensity. Henceforth, only after watching this movie subtitled in English I have realized how much lyrics used in her songs were matching the on-goings in her own life. As if song makers and lyricist were retelling her life in real time. Having her screenplay based on the book written by Dalida's already mentioned brother Orlando, and thanks to proper choice of such songs with real life-relating lyrics, and their excellent timing, screenplay writer and director, Ms. Lisa Azuelos, has offered to the viewers most dramatic and suggestive revelations, easily implying such exciting, and--within the context of Dalida's private life troubled by failed relationships and personal difficulties, mishaps and tragedies--often touching connections between the songs and reality.

Though shot as biography feature film (biopic), meant primarily to entertain, then to inform, by appearing so well connected to reality, true to the facts, naturally gaining from the circumstance that the main actress is almost a dead ringer for Dalida, further inspired by clearly Dalida's own voice performing all included songs, it almost feels like watching a biography documentary.

To Dalida's faithful long-time followers, this is a great chance to reconfirm their fandom, to all others--including a co-spectator at the movie screening I attended, my wife Minnie--an excellent opportunity to get acquainted to this most gifted, duly celebrated singer, whose life was tragically cut short, but whose legacy, primarily her songs (but also, her high ranking as a personality, e.g. personality who had the greatest impact on French society), still lives and remains for posterity, as a pleasant reminder of her impressive and memorable talents.
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8/10
Quite good:
Partnerfrankreich8 February 2017
I went to see this with my wife (I'm American, she is French) primarily in order to please her and thinking that this would be a weepy, melodramatic biopic of interest only to hard-core fans of the late Dalida.

Guess what? I actually found it to be a quite enjoyable film, of obvious particular interest to those who know about the portrayed singer's huge professional success (she is relatively unknown in the US and the UK but was a tremendous star throughout Europe, the Middle East and Japan) shadowed by an enormous amount of personal tragedy in her life, but pretty damn good all on its own as well.

The actress who portrays Dalida is a dead ringer for her and even though it is obvious that she is lip-syncing the songs, her ability to imitate Dalida's gestures, both on and off stage, is stunning. The supporting case also does a very good job and the director carefully stays within the boundaries of what could have otherwise been a Hollywood tear-jerker type film, never descending into pure melodrama.

If you don't know about Dalida, this film is worth a look -- if you do know about her, you should definitely see it.
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9/10
Worth watching
rdeeb15 March 2017
Great Movie i went to see the movie in Egypt Cairo last week..and guess what i watched it Twice..same day two times back to back ( the cinema was packed with Dalida fans from older and younger generation) it was worth the time and money spent... those who are find of the great singer ..her music her songs her voice or those who lived that era would defiantly like the film..i wont repeat what was written in previous reviews..ill just add that one the film strength elements is that places it was shot in...they reflected her reality places..Although her childhood part was Filmed in Morocco which is not the case..not in Egypt Shobra Neighbor Hood where she was born and Raised..Nor Alexandria city when she lived as well...therefore even the Arabic Language in this part of the film is with a strange accent that is Moroccan not Egyptian..i wished they filmed in in her original places. i give the actress a high mark for the effort in Imitating every single gesture hair and makeup,,perfect... one of the Goofs is that they missed adding the most important Egyptian Song ( Kela Helwa W Kelmetain- a nice word or two) which she sang right before her suicide and was a major Hit worldwide.i was disappointed they omitted that song in the film. recommend to be watched and i w'd defiantly watch it again for a third time
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9/10
Biopic not-to-miss
jad-nachabe-118-89851113 February 2017
Beautifully written and portrayed journey through Dalida's success- filled career and through her rather melancholic personal life.

Sveva shines as Dalida - she does her justice, and with all the right emotions at that. The picture offers a beautifully written and directed insight into the life of the legend that is Dalida. The transition between different phases of her life is light and allows you to dig deeper into what drove her success and ultimately her fall.

While the film could've done better with Sveva's lip-syncing, the music is carefully selected, introduced, and fills the theater with Dalida's warm and unique voice.

Probably will not be as commercially successful as the contextually similar La Vie en Rose with Marion Cottilard but insightful and beautiful nonetheless. Highly recommended.
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elegance as the first virtue
Kirpianuscus17 July 2017
Every biopic is a risk for the viewer. because he has his version about the life of the lead character. maybe memories. and a lot of impressions. "Dalida" is one of rare biopics who escapes from the circle of clichés and full of good intentions sketches. maybe, because it has the right director and the ideal lead actress. maybe for the beautiful elegance for present a chain of tragedies, hard work, fragility and need of happiness. maybe for the science to give to you the feeling to see a docu-drama. the admirable thing - it is not a film for the fans of Dalida. it is not exactly story of a precise existence. it is far to be a bitter fairy tale. it has the magnificent gift to be a film about chance and the price of it, about choices and about a woman looking for herself. all in a manner who, I believe, is more than inspired.
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10/10
A fine portrait of an amazing woman and singer
alain-aouad11 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw the movie finally yesterday in Beirut, where it was packed full of young people, full of parents too, I was with my family and my friends ... Unanimous opinion of all, it is a very beautiful movie! I really liked how the first part of the film went, the idea is great to make flashbacks and start with 1967 which is the milestone in Dalida's life and which has tipped everything. I found the actress Sveva has her advantage in this period where she most resembles Dalida, when she is seen singing Dan Dan Dan, it is really the best passage on stage of the film, she sings in Italian, it is her language, the lip-sync works and the gesture is adapted, there for me it was magic ... The film has a strong cast and Sveva breaks and shines through the screen, it's true that for the rest of the on-stage songs, she does not look like the Dalida glamour of 1976 or the disco queen of 1980, but let's be honest, even a Madonna or Angelina Jolie could not restore or redo or copy what Dalida made us feel on stage, her charisma, her character was unique, we will not find it anywhere, then only for that I am glad that these other scenes have passed without disturbing me; Because Sveva is actually "Light", she plays the game and does not disturb the viewer, we want her to laugh and be happy, but given the drama that follows her throughout the film, we feel discomfort all the time and one comes out at the end of the movie with a heavy heart, so for those who say that the film lacks emotion, personally I find that it is well balanced ... The film is successful in being realistic, we feel that it is modern, that it is current and at the same time circa 60-70. The songs and scenes and the incidents of Dalida's life are combined in a clever and elaborate way, the songs emerge stronger by their words and explain a life marked by success and heartbreak. I loved how they added instrumental intros to the original songs, the mix is ​​beautiful, the voice of Dalida resonates with all of its beauty in the movie theater, it's just amazing! It is respectful of the artist and the woman, we feel throughout the movie how much she was a star and a modern woman ahead of her time, her story is universal, she was really all women ... It is a film that will remain for the generations a way to discover the journey of this extraordinary woman with multiple facets, the film demonstrates brilliantly why Dalida remains so popular and loved...
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7/10
Could have been more comprehensive
euroGary7 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
'Dalida' is a biopic of Yolanda Gigliotti, a former Miss Egypt of Italian stock, who - although I had never heard of her before seeing this film at the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival - achieved great success as a singer and actress in the 1950s-80s.

With a couple of nods to her childhood in Cairo (which seemed to consist mainly of her grizzling), the story opens as the young woman sings in a radio variety show. From then on the film could be a TV movie adaptation of a Danielle Steel novel: the overnight success, the glamorous love affairs, the scandal, the suicide attempts... if it were not based on true events it would be easy to dismiss this film as being extremely predictable.

I would have appreciated more explanation about certain things: why, for instance, was it necessary for the baby Yolanda to have her eyes bound for forty days? And why - after the huge success of a concert in which she moved into disco - do we next see her, a few years later, alone and suicidal in her Paris home - what happened in the interim to bring her to this low? Other things struck me as odd: for instance, would a woman going for an abortion really wear full face make-up to do so?

I probably would have appreciated the film more if I were familiar with Dalida's music. As it is, I was surprised by the number of French-language songs she sang that were familiar to me in their English language versions; and I am now haunted by the emotional 'Je suis malade', which is gorgeous - in fact, the music is probably the best reason to watch this film.
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6/10
A fawning surface level look at a great icon
ReganRebecca20 June 2017
For so many people around the world Dalida was an amazing, life- changing icon, a woman with a powerful voice who brought joy to so many people even while her own life was mired in tragedy. Dalida's life was the stuff movies are made of. What a disappointment then that this movies makes her seem so lifeless.

Perhaps the problem here is that the filmmakers had so much to work with. Dalida had a 31 year career as a superstar, constantly remaking herself to stay on top of trends and to give new material to her fans. However instead of focusing on her career this biopic chooses to examine her through the lens of her romantic relationships many of which ended in tragedy (three of her lovers would commit suicide). As an entry way into the private life of Dalida it's not a bad start, but the script is frankly a mess. Men enter and exit Dalida's life quickly, with all the juicy material usually glossed over in montage backed by one of Dalida's songs. And after awhile these affairs start to drain the life force out of the movie. If you only had the film to go on Dalida is just a simple woman who only wants to get married and have children but keeps picking the wrong men. Her singing career seems almost incidental. At one point, Dalida tells a spiritual adviser that she feels whole when she's singing but we never see that. Instead the film treats Dalida as passive in her own career, a woman who doesn't really care for the work and instead has been built up by two men: her husband Lucien Morrise and her brother Orlando.

Sveva Alviti has a beautiful face, but is missing that star quality that made Dalida someone you couldn't take your eyes off of. Everyone else is passable. The costumes and techs are glossy and it's fun to watch them and count the passing years through the background scenery (little attempts are made to age Alviti up with makeup). The best part of the movie though are Dalida's own songs which are used generously within the film and make it almost like a longform music video.
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10/10
LEGEND!
seeramuun58 April 2018
It's really great! I gave it 10 points. It was really nice to know Dalida. Filmin is completely music-filled and the selection of appropriate songs was good. Player selections and acting were also very nice. I love the fact that Dalida is singing things that I do not know about. REALLY LEGEND! They also look very same with Edith Piaf. I learned in the film that they are competitors. The lead role was very good. The story was fun and the camera was beautiful too. The characters were beautiful. The final scene was pretty good too. It's a really professional job. They were able to legend the legend in front of the camera. I wanted it to be longer.
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7/10
Nice to know Dalida more
didemavsar24 June 2018
I remember Dalida's songs from my childhood. This film is a good biopic and worth to watch to learn about her more.

At first, I found it a little bit too tragic as a film but at the end her real life is unfortunately tragic. The music was obviously great. Sveva Alviti and Riccardo Scamarcio who act as Dalida and her brother/manager Orlando was great.

I wish, I would find more than Dalida's love affairs in the film such as; her dreams, her motives, her relationship with the music.

As a result, I can recommend the film to learn more about one of the best female singers in history and also it was a nice film to watch.
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6/10
Dalida, her men and her music
Horst_In_Translation17 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Dalida" is a French film from 2016, so still a relatively new work at this point, and this one was written and directed by Lisa Azuelos. Well, the book it is based on was of course not written by her, but the screenplay was and the film has the potential to become one of the filmmaker's most known career efforts, maybe even the number one. A lot of that has to do with lead actress Sveva Alviti, who carries the film strongly as she is in pretty much every single scene and it is definitely a breakthrough performance here. No denying that her looks help too just like Valentina Carli's, even if she is sadly not in that many scenes. This is a biopic about the singer Dalida, who was born in Cairo and had gigantic success in Europe thanks to her powerful voice. Of course she existed in reality too, even if I must admit I don't think I have heard of her before or I probably have and I just don't remember the name. But her music was good and I heard songs that I recognized from the Leningrad Cowboys and from the Tarantino film Kill Bill. The way they treated her music in here was interesting and it definitely wasn't as frequent as I thought it would be. At least in terms of what you see and in terms of the story. Instead they included Dalida's songs as voice-over on truly many occasions in this film. For me the approach was working.

In terms of plots and story-telling, the focus was on Dalida and the men in her life, her lovers, but also her brother. We find out how so many of them end up dying by committing suicide and how every time something inside Dalida dies, even if her relationships with these men may have been finished already at that point. I think all the actors did a good job and the ensemble performance is one of the film's biggest strengths. But sadly, in terms of story-telling, there were weaknesses. Sometimes it felt as if entire scenes were missing despite the long runtime and it hurts the film's flow on several occasions. One example would be the scene when she basically begs her freshly divorced boyfriend to marry her, to get her pregnant, so she can be a housewife and mother, but he refuses and one scene later we find out she does not love him anymore even, so I wonder how much time may have passed between these extremely contradictory scenes. Another example is the argument with her brother during the holiday celebrations in which she defends her considerably younger lover (for times back then) and which is so heavy that he quits the party. And in the next scene, they seem to be so close as if nothing happened at all while talking about her boyfriend as if she does not care one bit about him. This is also the pregnancy scene that results in an abortion, a conscious decision that backfires later on and hurts Dalida's mental state even more that she will never become a mother.

But all in all, I think the positive aspects of this are far more frequent than the negative and I believe this is rock-solid execution from start to finish. The music, acting (especially the lead performance), the real character references and also the visual side make up for occasional structure deficits in story-telling. It certainly one of the better recent French films I have seen and why stellar moments and greatness are not really existent here, I enjoyed the film from start to finish. People should check this one out and if they have a stronger connection with Dalida than I do, then I would not be surprised to see this one on several Best-of-the-year lists. If only the music component could have been depicted more convincingly and with this I am also talking about the title character's rise to stardom, which felt truly rushed. Anyway, all in all I give this film a thumbs-down and I suggest you check it out if you get a chance too. Worth seeing for sure.
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6/10
Mostly a musical: Not interesting for non-Dalida fans
RareMovieCritic13 March 2018
This is not a "rare" film, but for a movie that has been out for over a year, it still has fewer than ten reviews on IMDb. This is the tenth review.

I won't spoil the film, but this is not really worth watching as a standalone film. If you don't like Dalida's music, this film is not for you. Most of the film is music. Not "about music" but just music. Sveva Alviti standing in front of a microphone and singing. Sometimes on stage, sometimes in a studio, sometimes on TV, on the radio, and sometimes in montages where other things happen.

If you enjoy her music and want to listen to whole songs, this movie is for you. If you don't want to listen to whole songs and want to see a movie, maybe skip this one. It's closer to "Pink Floyd The Wall" (the movie) than to a biopic.

Casting, editing, sound, cinematography, etc. where all excellent, but this film is heavy on the music and light on the story.

A very generous 6/10.
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10/10
Beautiful!
lolipop_big28 October 2018
I live in USA, and I'm Iranian. Never heard of this person. Very nice movie. But sad. I think it was pretty accurate when I read about her life on the Internet actually. Great act and story...
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