PHP-FACine – Chicago – Rob Marshall – 2002


So the other day, I talked about how I didn’t know much about the musical Chicago, except that it was made into a movie starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. Last Wednesday, I finally found the time to watch it and dang, I think it’s actually better than the Broadway version. #awkward

First of all, the movie had a clearer flow. In the stage rendition, there wasn’t a very clear transition from Roxie shooting Fred to when she was imprisoned. I just realized she was in jail and that “Mama” was actually the jail warden when they finally did Cell Block Tango. Or maybe I just lacked imagination then due to the simplicity of the props. Either way, the movie version inserted more scenes that helped make the story clearer to the audience — or at least to me. So that was good.

Aside from this, the biggest thing that I noticed was the production for the songs. I absolutely loved it ’cause they spared no expense in making sure the song numbers were, well, spectacular, to say the least. I thought I loved the stage version of We Both Reached For The Gun, but then I saw the movie version and just, wow. All-out EVERYTHING. Performance, make-up, lighting, stage design, cinematography — it’s all there!

Speaking of performance, let me just say that the main actors did a pretty bang-up job. I didn’t know Renée was cast as Roxie or Richard, Billy (like I said, all I knew was that it had Catherine in it), so when they came out onscreen, all I could think of was: WELL THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING. Needless to say, they surpassed my expectations. Not very sure about Renée as Roxie, though. I mean, her performance surprised me, yes, but it was pretty blah compared to Catherine’s performance. And I kept comparing her to Broadway Roxie, song number-wise. Acting-wise, though, she was good, no doubt about it.

Check out this brilliant performance by Catherine as Velma Kelly. Comments on the video say that she was 3 months pregnant when she did this. WOW. JUST WOW.

All in all, I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars. Stage design, props, costume, make-up, lighting, sounds: PERFECT. I loved how it sometimes transitioned from elaborate set to stark theater stage, like in the video above. Script, flow, acting, direction: PRETTY GOOD. There were some dull parts, especially Mr. Cellophane — and that’s saying something ’cause I loved the Broadway performance for that. Aaaaand also. Catherine Zeta-Jones outshone them all. HAHA.

So yeah, watch it if you haven’t already. 🙂

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If you’re wondering what “PHP FACine” stands for, we’re currently holding online classes over at Hogwarts Philippines and I just happen to have signed up for the cinema class one. This is one of our assignments. As a closing statement, I need to answer this question: WHAT IS CINEMA TO ME? Cinema, to me, is like life but with background music, perfect lighting, cheesy/out-of-this-world lines, and inexplicably attractive extras. Har.

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