Chicago is a musical movie that is based on Bob Fosses Broadway musical of the 70s. The critical and box office success of marked a big come back of the movie musical. The musical itself occurs in the Roaring 20s and turns around the themes of adultery, corruption, murder, infamy and finally the media power (Rob, 2002). The story commences when Velma Kelley shoots her two-timing husband and then imprisoned with charges of murder. She then hires a glossy lawyer, Billy Flynn, making her story to hit the news headlines in the front page. Kelly instantly becomes a new darling of the media with her story being highlighted frequently.
On the other hand, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) dreams of being a superstar with her dancing and singing talent. She is cheating on her miserable husband, Amos (John C. Reilly), without his knowledge. One night she shoots her lover, Dominic West, who is a very abusive man. Roxie ends up with predicaments same as Velma’s. At this point, it is Roxie’s case that hits the media overshadowing Velma’s. Consequently, Flynn puts Velma’s case on hold and decides to handle Roxie’s. Velma goes down but things are not easy for the other two. The basis of the story is the pursuit of celebrity and infamy using dirty and nasty ways. Nevertheless, the whole movie is presented on flamboyant musical numbers having all the actors singing and dancing in their own manner.
Directed by one of the best directors, Rob Marshal, Chicago is a very entertaining musical movie but does not bring out the whole essence of entertaining. The movie is so shallow movie that offers little other than the musical numbers. Despite the fact that the movie is an award winning I still feel that its entertainment solely depends on toe-tapping and energetic musical numbers which is its full extent only (Rob, 2002)
About the cast, I feel it is terrific as they perform their dancing and singing scenes out of the approximate. This is especially seen in Queen Latifa and Catherine Zeta-Jones (as scene when stealing Mama Morton who takes care of the girls in prison). They both coincidentally have a musical career. Zeta-Jones gives an outstanding performance as she struts and swaggers through the movie for being a great singer and dancer. She well deserved her Oscar win. Latifa also gives a very great performance and consequently gets nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Her character is inhibited by charm and passion to deliver a number that is one of the best in film. Richard Gere plays his role very well annoying Billy Flynn. Renee Zellweger annoys me though for her being ramped up in the film to full tilt. This annoyance is almost impossible to bear. John C. is excellent though on very little scale due to his brilliant musical number that gives the film part of the much need reality (Rob, 2002)
The Director, Rob Marshall, does his work masterfully, through balancing all of the dissimilar musical numbers and at the same time he makes the flow of the story cohesive. The choreography is very spectacular and the numbers in the film are very intimate from the biggest to the small ones. The theatre background was effectively utilized to achieve to achieve full effect, blending brilliantly with the actors.
Bill Condon’s screenplay is additionally great and strong. It contains dialogue that is well written that mixes in to highlight the big numbers. To sum up, Chicago is a well and tightly structured movie whose production is quite great, but it does not measure up to something substantial.