Thursday, December 08, 2005

movie review: RENT

wuss alert.
as a warning, someone once told me that i know far too many show tunes to be straight. rest assured, i am 100% straight, but BOY, do i love me some show tunes.
and in the great land of showtunes that stretches from shall we dance to bring him home to tell me on a sunday, please, there's very few shows that shake my boots that way that rent does. now, if you're not familiar, please stop reading now and proceed directly to the movie trailer. do not pass go. do not collect $200.
go ahead, watch it now. that's ok, i'll wait...
alright, now, do you see what i mean? that tune that's in the trailer - seasons of love - doesn't even scratch the surface.
the long and short of it is, i saw the flick yesterday, and found myself in tears three times. granted, it's a pretty sad script - it's about a group of 8 friends in 1989 who are all dealing with HIV/AIDS in some way. some are infected, some are in love with someone that's infected, some are struggling through all of it.
but truthfully, the death that is inherent in the story is not what brings me to tears every time. the meat of it is these relationships that are built on knowing there is a worldly end at some point, but for them - that's not the whole story.

there is such beautiful simplicity in this lyrical line in my favorite song for the show:
"will i lose my dignity? will someone care? will i wake tomorrow from this nightmare?"
that's the whole song. REALLY. and every time, i cry. there is such grace in these friendships and love affairs. such simple and true grace.

overall, the film features nearly all the actors who pioneered/created the roles on broadway. so, the acting is brilliant - in a stage-to-film kind of way. jesse l. martin [law and order] is particularly strong, as is rosario dawson [one of the few not from the original broadway cast]. the direction is simple - they use real streets in the alphabet city area of NYC, but Chric Columbus doesn't let his feel-good nature [see Home Alone and Uncle Buck] get in the way of the solid writing. the voices featured are fantastic, but raw. they are the real voices of these actors, and whether it's rosario dawson graveling her way through 'light my candle' or taye diggs screaming in a very 2005 R&B voice, the reality of these is important.
overall, the film is well made, and allows for the opening 40 minutes to be slower and obsessed with the introduction of characters. because once the second act starts, there's no turning back.

solid movie. see it. NOW.

1 comment:

eric St.Clair said...

Saw it opening day. Jessie's Collins was awesome!