January 29th, 2003

Illuminati

(no subject)

Another review I did for the SL film list.

Wending our way home from B&Q last night, the girlfriend and I decided to lift myself out of the "Bathrooms sure are expensive" doldrums by dropping in to the Warner Village to see what was on. Chicago was starting ten minutes later, so I paid the exorbitant £11.20 they wanted for a pair of tickets and mere moments later we were esconced in the very comfy seats (made even more comfortable because the arms are movable, so you can slump against each other if you're that way inclined).

It's a flashy presentation, full of glamour and glitz. By taking the dance scenes and musical sections and placing them firmly in the head of Roxie (Renee Zellwegger), the film allows for easier suspension of disbelief than the stage version did. It's very easy to get sucked in to the world of a young woman who finds herself completely out of her depth in jail.

The performances are all good, and I found myself liking Catherine Zeta Jones more than I thought I would. Richard Gere was also a surprise - when acting he was his usual self, but his singing and dancing really opened him up and showed that he does have range, he just doesn't like to use it most of the time.

The only problem I have with it is that there's not one single likable character in the film except for Roxie's husband (John C Reilly, also fantastic in The Good Girl, Magnolia, Gangs of New York and Boogie Nights), whose too much of a sap to really hold our affections. The film's not a morality tale (morals play no part in the outcome at all), it's not sharp enough to be a satire and it's not gritty enough to be a slice of life.

Overall, I'd say a 7.5.

Obquotes: Billy Flynn: Would you please tell the audience.. err.. the jury what happened?

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Court officer: Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Velma Kelly: And then some!

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Producer: "Roxie Hart. Didn't she kill a guy a while back?"
Director: "Ah, who can keep 'em straight anymore?"