When is a Konzept Regietheater opera production not Eurotrash? Answer: when it's made into an original film by actor/director and since 2012 Knight of the Realm Sir Kenneth Branagh and is not presented as a new staging or "interpretation" of a canonical work but is clearly presented as an original work based on and adapted from a canonical work. Such is Branagh's 2006 film The Magic Flute which is only now having its U.S. release. Based on a review DVD of the film sent us by the film's distributor Revolver Entertainment, the film is an adaptation based on the Mozart opera (Singspiel) of the same name adapted for the screen and directed by Branagh with new English libretto and dialogue by Stephen Fry and new screenplay by co-writers Branagh and Fry. Mozart's sublime music (no other adjective characterizes it adequately) for his The Magic Flute — all of it — is of course used for this adaptation and used wonderfully well even though it's — how to put it — realized less than wonderfully well by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (not their fault) conducted by James Conlon whose tempi left little time or room for Mozartian nuance and left us feeling that Maestro Conlon was running late for some important appointment or other he just had to get to. Branagh has set his visually beautiful Flute in a war zone that looks suspiciously like (but is not intended to particularly be) World War I — trench warfare, poison gas and all — but that notwithstanding is consistently true to the spirit and sense of Mozart's Flute sans the masonic references and allusions the work proceeding as if it were the playing out of a terrified soldier's fantasy born of a desperate need to escape the real horrors that surround him but in which fantasy he can still emerge a noble and courageous hero. And so he does, and within the work's context it's all delightfully believable. The singer-actors in this film adaptation all made fine if not especially notable jobs of it both musically and dramatically, that latter, we suspect, largely a result of the attentions of Sir Kenneth who, by his own admission, may not know much about opera but surely knows his business from top to bottom where the dramatic arts are concerned. One might feel tempted to compare this film with Ingmar Bergman's brilliant 1975 film of the same name. Resist the temptation. Apples and oranges. Bergman's film is a clear restaging/reimagining of Mozart's opera, not an adaptation simply based on that opera and so a different sort of fruit altogether. But just as Bergman's film left its audiences all smiles and warm good feelings, the Branagh film will do precisely the same. In that, the two films are most eminently comparable indeed. We promise you.