This version of Esmeralda is baffling. It’s neither good or bad. It’s super boring though. This Esmeralda hits all the marks of the plot that this version is going for; she is a gypsy dancer who likes her goat and Phoebus and doesn’t like Frollo very much. She doesn’t fear him like in the book so he is really a second thought.
This version also tries to go for the charming, doe-eyed, innocence Esmeralda, which is not very convincing. Gina Lollobrigida was also unconvincing with her lines about innocence but she had more interest and charisma. It’s just hard to separate this Esmeralda from her actress, as she is styled in a very 70’s style, her costume doesn’t look very in character, more on that later, and again she is gypsy being played by a white woman. If her name was Melody it would make the some amount of impact. I don’t feel Esmeralda’s character even though that is what being presented. More like a wax fruit than the real stuff.
It the same issues that the 1982 version had with Lesley-Anne Down, except there she was fearful and didn’t like dancing. That’s not a positive it just makes the role more the movie’s version and therefore different. This Esmeralda does have nothing that separate her from her book persona and because of the gap in the execution there is nothing there, again it’s wax fruit when instead of actual fruit. She says the lines and there nothing believable or convincing about it. It’s a very boring and dare I say by the book, No it’s like act by numbers.
There are some scene where she is believable but it’s mostly when she is being playful, like the scene with Gringoire but that is really it. It’s just boring depiction.
I think they best way to showcase this this version of Esmeralda is go watch her introduction scene when she is dancing. The camera spends more time on shots of ugly extras than her dancing. The director would rather focus on extras than the woman that all the male characters obsess over.Follow thehunchblog