If husband-and-wife singers Alagna and Gheorghiu (the Posh n Becks of the opera world) performed this Puccini favourite on stage anywhere in the world, you wouldnt be able to get a ticket for love nor money.
But in this screen version, the electricity generated by a live experience quickly loses its spark.
Despite the odd cinematic flash of inspiration black-and-white footage of the recording studio session and blurry hand-held video shots this is predominantly a stodgy, timid production hampered by dull camera set-ups, wooden acting and exceptionally poor synching.
That said, the soundtrack comes over loud and crystal clear, theres passion in conductor Antonio Pappanos reading of the score and the singing is, of course, fantastic. Great recording, terrible cinema. Wheres Baz Luhrmann when you need him?