I had to watch a musical after seeing so many serious films. As a big Broadway musical fan, I had to see Chicago since it’s a classic. I was hesitant because: 1. stage musicals usually don’t translate well onto the big screen 2. modern musicals feel corny and have no charm 3. movie actors end up acting too normal or not theatrical enough. Surprisingly, the big names in this film, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Richard Gere, are able to shed their real life personas and, with the perfect amount of theatrical flair, embody their characters.
Coming in with relatively low expectations, I was shocked by how entertaining this movie was. The story was clear, flowed well, and even had a few surprises. The superb incorporation of stage performance scenes with the rest of the film took this movie to the next level and made it different from other movie musicals I’ve watched. These scenes helped move the story along and preserved the energy and theatrical over-the-top nature that I love about Broadway shows. Out of all the amazing dance numbers, the finale, “Flynn’s Tap Dance” and the “Cell Block Tango,” where the women explain why they killed their men, are my favorites. Even though this isn’t a sing-along musical, I enjoyed the jazzy music and it fit the era well. It was great to finally hear songs like “All that Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle” that are staples of American culture.
As for acting, Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifiah are excellent in their roles. The costumes are fabulous and elaborate, and I appreciated the diversity of the cast. Overall, Chicago is a fantastic movie with a great combination of things I love: a good storyline, great acting, and spontaneous singing and dancing.