Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I Love Chicago

If Wall-E has the best story, then Chicago has the best story telling. I'm a huge fan of musicals but put them in movie form (except Mama Mia!) with real special effects and a massive budget and I'm all over it. Chicago is a love story, but not the typical kind. Interwoven in a tale that depicts the corruption of the criminal justice system is a story about a woman's love for the vaudeville circuit. She dreams of so heavily of being a vaudevillian (an awesome word I must say) that all the events of her crime, jailing, and trial are depicted as performances on stage. To me this is her perception of the world around her.

While the events of the movie happen in live action mode, the audience gets a peak at the truth behind every character and action through on stage performances. The two best examples of this are the press conference scene (which I'll discuss in another post) and the trial scene. During the trial Billy Flynn assures Roxie Hart (the "protagonist" I suppose) not to be worried because a trial is nothing but a three ring circus. Most of the events in the trial are depicted as such and cleverly display the corruption of the time.

We also get to see behind the characters with this very same technique. A perfect example is the "Mr. Cellophane" song performed by Roxie's husband Amos. After suffering for about half the movie at the hands of the media and his wife, he has his 2 minutes in the spotlight singing about how no one ever notices him. The song is sung in parallel to Flynn talking to Amos while basically disregarding his presence. While I think the "Cell Block Tango" is the better song, this is more important to the movie.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this movie/play is that the "protagonist" is actually a pretty horrible human being. She acts in jealousy throughout the entire movie and never really learns from it. At the end she faces her husband who is ready to put this all behind them, but she turns him away because she needs the spotlight. Unfortunately she gets the fame she always craved in a pretty awesome finale with her main antagonist Velma Kelly.

Somehow this song was also stuck in my head all day.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails