Directed by Alan Parker
Screenplay Written by Alan Parker
Produced by Walt Disney Studios
Cinematography by Allen Daviau
Film Edited by Michael Kahn
Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Art Direction by Bo Belch
Musical and Lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice
Sharon Leal - Aida
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - Radames
Carrie Underwood - Amneris
Daniel Craig - Zoser
Elijah Kelly - Mereb
Sanaa Lathan - Nehebka
Tyrees Allen - Amonasro
Daniel Oreskes - Pharaoh
Tagline: "Every Story is a Love Story"
"Every story, tale or memoir
Every saga or romance
Whether true or fabricated
Whether planned or happenstance"
Our story takes place in ancient times. A time where Pharaohs and gods ruled the land. Egypt is one of the most powerful nations in the known world. Our story begins with Radames, captain of the Egyptian army, he is returning from an expedition through the land of Nubia, Egypt's long-time enemy. He is young, handsome and adventurous. His soldiers capture a group of Nubian women, he finds himself captivated by the fierce and majestic Aida, the only woman who makes any attempt to resist. After arriving in Egypt, Aida is saved from death in the copper mines by Radames, who sends her as a handmaiden to his betrothed, Princess Amneris. Amneris is a young, beautiful woman with a bubbly personality. She lives her days in the palace without a real care in the world dreaming of her wedding to Radames. When Aida is presented to Amneris by Radames' servant Mereb, a young man who has learned the tricks of survival in Egypt, she is liked instantly by the princess. Amneris could sense that there is more to Aida than meets the eye. The Princess couldn't have been more right for Aida was no regular Nubian women; she was the Nubian Princess. A fact that Mereb and Nehebka, another of the Princess' handmaidens, discover but promise Aida to keep secret for if the Egyptians find out they will kill her.
"Every story, new or ancient
Bagatelle or work of art
All are tales of human failing
All are tales of love at heart"
Meanwhile, Radames' father, Chief Minister Zoser, greets his son with news that the Pharaoh is dying, and Radames must prepare to become the next ruler of Egypt. Without Radames' knowledge, his father is poisoning the Pharaoh in order to accelerate Radames' ascension to the throne. With news of the Pharaohs illness the wedding between Radames and Amneris is moved up. In seven days Radames will be Pharaoh of all of Egypt which will give his father, Zoser, more power. Amneris is excited by this news but Radames is worried that this wedding will mean the end of his adventures. He shares his worries with Aida who in turn shares hers with him. There is a growing attraction between the two. Soon Amneris turns to Aida to confide her worries about her father's looming death. They begin to become friends. Radames no longer being able to hold his feelings for Aida in any longer confesses. Aida tells him that she is attracted to him as well. They share a passionate moment together. That moment is taken away from Aida when she getss word that her father, Amonasro, has been captured and will be put to death. Aida is taken by Mereb to the Nubian camp, where she her people plea for her help.
"This is the story
Of a LOVE that flourished
In a time of HATE
Of LOVERS no tyranny could separate
Love set into motion on the Nile's shore
Destiny ignited by an act of WAR"
Aida is torn between the love of her country and the love of a man that is the enemy to her country. Aida never expected for her love of Radames to ignite a revolution, betrayal, hurt feelings and ultimately death. Aida must be strong and fulfill her destiny. What happens in the rest of our story will be told for generations to come. It will be written in the stars. Our story of Aida will be forever known.
What the Press would say:
It is a gray, dreary day in New York City. There seems to be no colors except gray. In the Egyptian wing of a modern museum everything is gray. There is no color save for one statue. The statue is adorned with a bright red gown. It is the statue of Amneris, a female Pharaoh. The statue slowly comes to life. It steps down from the display and starts to walk through the Egyptian wing. As she walks she becomes more flesh. The walls start to become more brightly colored. She begins to sing. We soon realize that we are no longer in the Egyptian wing of a modern museum but we have been transported to Ancient Egypt. There are bright colors everywhere. Amneris (Underwood) goes into her song "Every Story is a Love Story".
This is the opening scene of Aida, the newly adapted screen version of a Broadway musical directed by Alan Parker and starring Jonathan Rhy Meyers, Sharon Leal and Carrie Underwood. Aida is one of the best Broadway Musical Adaptations that has been made since "Chicago". The opening scene of the film sets us up for what is about to happen. With this one scene we know that we are no longer in our world. We are in a world far away. A world where it is perfectly normal for people to break out into song and dance. And what a song and dance it is!
Sharon Leal ("Dreamgirls", TVs Boston Public) is a revelation as Aida. Leal steps out of the shadow of Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce and takes center stage. She brings all the power and emotion that is needed to successfully portray the character of Aida. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is fantastic as Radames. His rock n roll voice fits the character perfectly. Meyers brings all of his brooding charm to the role. Leal and Meyers will bring tears to your eyes as the two star crossed lovers.
Leal and Meyers are accompanied by one of the best supporting casts in any film this year. The standout is Carrie Underwood in her first acting role. She is marvelous as Princes Amneris. Underwood more than holds her own opposite more polished actors like Meyers and Craig (who is magnificent as Radames' scheming father, Zoser.) Underwood takes her singing to new heights in order to take on the vocal demands of Amneris.
Aida is a film that is visually stunning, beautifully acted and sung. It is sure to go down in film history. The film more than deserves every single nomination that is given to it. It is the one to beat this awards season.
Best Director - Alan Parker
Best Adapted Screenplay - Alan Parker
Best Actress - Sharon Leal
Best Actor - Jonathon Rhys Meyers
Best Supporting Actress - Carrie Underwood
Best Supporting Actor - Daniel Craig
Best Film Editing
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Original Song - "A Love Song for Eternity" Written by Elton John and Tim Rice