April 01, 2020
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Dreamgirls

Neither thought-provoking nor entertaining enough — remains largely average and underwhelming.

Dreamgirls
Dreamgirls
outlookindia.com
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Starring: Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennnifer Hudson
Directed by Bill Condon
Rating: **

West Side Story had romance, Sound of Music was all sugar and sentiments that left you happy and sad by turn and Singing in the Rain and An American in Paris could make you dance on the aisles. Recently, there was Rob Marshall’s inventive Chicago that mixed traditional Hollywood musical with strong lashings of the film noir. My all-time favourite is Lars Von Trier’s ‘anti-musical’, the dark and gloomy Bjork-starrer Dancer in the Dark, which was all about the music lurking in the grimness of life. Dreamgirls, directed by Chicago’s screenplay writer Bill Condon, has neither the energy, nor the ingenuity of these films. It’s neither thought-provoking nor entertaining enough and remains largely average and underwhelming.

There’s the obvious political angle, the film talks of black musicians and their efforts to mainstream in the American musical world of the ’60s. There are some telling scenes: how original tracks by black musicians get casually appropriated by the whites; in a Miami concert they are laughed at and ridiculed by the patronising master of ceremonies. It could have been interesting if the film had chosen to explore racial issues in music to a fuller extent. Unfortunately, it’s just one of the threads, the film skims the surface and prefers to focus on a very predictable theme: how a trio of women soul singers rises from being backup support to star Jimmy Early (Murphy) to the very top, how Deena (Knowles), the looker in the group, is made to sing the lead while the real talent Effie (Hudson) is sidelined by the car dealer-turned-manager Curtis (Jamie Foxx) and how ambition and materialism lead to infighting and eventual parting of ways even as heroine overdose claims Early. The choreography, sets and costumes make for good showmanship but nothing more. Ok, in a musical even the dialogues are sung. However, in Dreamgirls the singing is not well-paced and intercuts the evolving plot in a clumsy way. About one third into the film, every interaction starts getting sung with alacrity. Hudson, awarded the supporting actress Oscar this year, emerges the star of the show. Watch the film to debate if she deserved it.

High Fives

Bollywood
1. Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd
2. Nishabd
3. Red
4. Nehle Pe Dehlla
5. Sarhad Paar

Hollywood
1. 300
2. Wild Hogs
3. Bridge to Terabithia
4. Ghost Rider
5. Zodiac

Rock
1. Daughtry (Daughtry)
2. Infinity on High (Fall Out Boy)
3. All the Right Reasons (Nickleback)
4. Continuum (John Mayer)
5. Extreme Behaviour (Hinder)

Courtesy: Film Information

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