Essays

Chicago

Chicago

With all the oscar hype and such going around about the recent box office smash “Chicago,” I’ve been analyzing more and more why I had such a negative reaction to this movie. While everyone who saw the movie with me that night, and everyone who I’ve talked to about it since, loved the movie and raved about it to all their friends, while I left feeling sick. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect every aspect of the filming of this movie. The directing, the acting, the music (apart from the excessive need for orgasmic exhales with every rest in the music), is all very well done. Now granted, everyone knows, myself included, that this movie is really just about the spectacle, as most musicals are, and you are supposed to enjoy it mostly for the entertainment value and not much more. However, since evidently the rest of the known world was able to do just that, does that mean I should like the movie? No. Does it mean I shouldn’t? No. However, I’m still trying to figure out why I had such a negative reaction.

When I left the movie theatre that night, I felt almost sick to my stomach because the movie made me so mad. One of the reasons is the costuming, such as the Cell Block tango, in which at least 100 gorgeous women dance around in lingerie. Not that it’s meant to be a realistic cell block where the inmates are not only fully clothed, but really not a treat to look at, but come on. Did we really need to have the bra and panties show? Another reason is the blatant “Nice guys don’t win” message with John C. Reilly’s Character. Now I realize that it’s meant to be satirical and whatnot, however, there’s no resolution with that character whatsoever, when it really wouldn’t be that hard to toss it in there, but maybe I’m just missing the point. Either way, I still felt like the whole movie was just Hollywood getting off.

Now why did I feel this way? I watch other movies for the sheer entertainment value (Lord of the Rings being one) and yet I can’t get myself to do that with this movie. Is it because I’m way too sensitive about the portrayal of women? Is it just too hard for me to watch something glamorous and sexy simply for the entertainment value of it? Or is it because after leaving the theater I look down at my ratty cargo pants, the fat that relentlessly clings to my body, the cigarette in my mouth, and realize how unglamorous I am in comparison? Or is it because I too often feel like “Mr. Cellophane” and was left feeling worthless because of that character’s portrayal? Or is it simply because I think too much about it?

The truth is I don’t know, and it’s probably a combination of all of that. Nevertheless, I don’t feel like this is a revival of the old hollywood musical, because actors back then didn’t need fancy camera shots to make them appear to be good dancers. I’m all about bringing the musical back to Hollywood, but I just don’t think this is the one to lead the revolution.

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