Friday, November 25, 2005

...after much anticipation...

Well, I saw it. Amy and I went to the late showing on Thanksgiving night to see RENT, and though I'm mostly impressed, I'm still not entirely sure what I think about it.

  • POSITIVES: The main messages of the piece (living for today, the glorification with the bohemian-artistic lifestyle, love and friendship are what matter in life) definately shine through. Most of the performances are great, and I appreciated the majority of the camera work and layouts of the scenes (seeing on-location action was really cool). Using the original broadway cast (with 2 exceptions) was also a brilliant decision. With Chris Columbus directing, I was sure they were going to pull out a lot of the objectionable content, but with the film's piece de resistance (IMO) - "La Vie Boheme" - there were certainly no punches pulled. That scene kicks major ass both on screen and on stage. How they got a PG-13 rating with that number in the picture, I have no freaking clue.
  • NEGATIVES: The flow of the film, however, seems a bit clunky and even cheesy at times. There were two "cringe" moments: Angel's "Today For You" (couldn't they have broken away from the silly singing and shown his story in action?) and Roger singing on top of a corny Sante Fe cliffy landscape - yikes. I'm also not sure if it will win any new "converts" - it may mainly be for fans of the production. I'm not sure. I'd love to hear someone's feedback that saw the film and has NOT seen the stage show.
Some good. Some bad. I'm AM pretty sure, however, that they did as well as they could, what with translating this stage show to a film. Go see it. If you can withstand a little bit of cheese, I'm quite sure that the Life-Affirming message will break through to even the coldest of viewers. NO DAY BUT TODAY.

5 comments:

Allison said...

i haven't seen the stage show...but the previews are enticing me to see the movie...i wonder if i should wait until i see the real deal first...?

Jon said...

Hi, Trev, I just saw Rent tonight, and it was exhilarating beyond belief! If Puccini were doing Boheme today, I think this is how he'd do it! It's got to be the greatest rock opera ever.

And Goblet of Fire is a work of art!

Trev Diesel said...

Allison-

Nah, go ahead and see the movie.

Jon-

Thanks for your thoughts... Didn't you love the "toast" scene in the Life Cafe? :)

Jon said...

I was gobsmacked! I actually sang in the chorus of La Boheme in my college's production, but man, the whole "La Vie Boheme" cafe scene just amazed me!

I don't think I've ever seen a singing performance as frenetic and energetic that lasted half that long in my life. Absolutely amazing!

Bilquees said...

I just saw the movie and was disappointed to say the least, not in the "artistic" nature of the film, because the actors were very talented. It was the message I thought the film imparted to young people that concerned me. The audience was filled with young people -- teens and 20s.

It seemed to me the characters were very self-absorbed even as they professed love for their friends. They had no respect for people who didn't live the way they did, all the while demanding and expecting everyone to respect their lifestyle, which was really a lifestyle of no accountability, even to themselves, which is why, sadly, many of them ended up with AIDS and were drug addicts. Now, I have compassion for them as fellow human beings, but to glorify this lifestyle of not caring for oneself is irresponsible, in my opinion.

An example is this: They lived rent free -- at the expense of their landlord -- not respecting the owner's rights at all yet were outraged when their stuff was taken after the lock was placed on the door. Where is the reciprocity in this?

The line that goes something like this: "You can't buy love -- but it's for rent" is a very sad commentary on what some folks think the word love means. Love cannot be bought or rented. I can only be freely given.

The best part of the film was when the apparently homeless woman brought the light of clarity to the situation, and I won't give it away for those who haven't yet seen the film.

Be safe,
Bilquees