Monday, March 26, 2007

Dreamgirls: Great voices, good script and still equals to a mediocre musical

The success of the Moulin Rouge some years ago gave new life to a forgotten genre. As a result, musical is back. Chicago impressed spectators with its intricate dancing numbers and its excellent music and singing. In the Dreamgirls case the musical has limited itself to music and signing. The songs and the voices are beautiful but the dancing numbers are missing. In the musical genre most of the spectators’ enjoyment derives from the harmony of the movement of the dancer and the rhythm of the editing. In Dreamagirls case there is no dancing to act as the optical equivalent to the beautiful singing. Sometimes, therefore, the spectator gets bored waiting for the singing to finish and the myth to progress.
Dreamgirls is based on a true story. It describes with no flattering way the begging of the career of Diana Ross. The Deramgirls, a black female group, has as lead voice a rather fat girl. She is deeply in love with the manager. When the group tries to become famous, the manager puts in the lead a second class voice which belongs to a beautiful girl. Eventually he leaves his first love and marries the pretty girl. It is a history of total betrayal. The protagonist is betrayed and left aside by her lover, by her best friend and by her brother. The pretty girl is in fact Dianna Ross. The script is quite good. It has its peaks and anxiety and depicts rather well the intricacies of the music business and the era. The soundtrack is quite successful mostly due to the exquisite voice of Jennifer Hudson. She proves much more talented than the famous singer Beyoncé Knowles. Still too much singing even in scenes where is not really needed has made in some points this movies boring and slow.
Dreamgilrs is a movie that could have been special. Good story with a well made script. Good actors and moreover great voices. Still it didn’t make it. I think that the producers were carried away by their discovery of a new talented voice and actress. They wanted to exploit and impress the audience by their discovery. As a result they created too many scenes with singing. The editing is too loose and the film at places has no rhythm. A much stricter editing would really lift this movie off the ground. Still for those who love the music of the era, there is the soundtrack as a consolation price.

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