Spectacle doesn’t translate to film
A gamine (Erica Linz) stumbles into a visiting circus in her town, tumbles for the handsome aerialist (Igor Zaripov) and when he — distracted — falls from the heights, she is sucked into the same sandy vortex that opens in the floor of the Circus Marvelous tent that swallows him.
In the alternate reality beneath the sand, Mia, the gamine, wanders into tents of amazement — dazzling water ballets and aerial spectacles, trampoline acts set to the music of Elvis, a stunning visualization of “Octopus’s Garden” by the Beatles, moments of menace and mime and magic.
And always, just out of sight and out of reach, the aerialist is tugged into other worlds, other places to display his prowess. Unseen forces keep the couple apart.
It’s all lovely, mesmerizing — and right on the edge of sleep-inducing.
Then, just as you’re about to doze off, the “Viva Elvis” and “The Beatles Love” segments turn up and give the show momentum, and a beat we can dance to.
Cheaper than a trip to Vegas, “Worlds Away” is, even in gorgeous 3-D, a wonderful reminder of the indispensable place Cirque du Soleil holds in popular entertainment. They’re fabulous, even on film. But there’s no substitute for live performance.