Showing posts with label chicago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicago. Show all posts

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Reconsideration: Chicago (2002)

1920s. Jazz. Booze. Adultery. Murderesses on death row. Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is an aspiring vaudevillian who guns down her lover Fred Casley (Dominic West) after he betrays her with fake showbusiness connections. The blue-eyed tramp is sent to jail on a "hanging case". Meanwhile chanteuse Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the main starring inmate clinging onto her last remnants of fame in the same clink. Her money-loving charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) chases the next dollar and star helping Hart's public image soar as an innocent Southern housewife.

Winning six Academy Awards in 2002 (out of its total thirteen nominations), Chicago is one of the most celebrated and hated musicals of all time. Premiere Magazine named it one of the twenty most overrated movies of all time, and that recognition isn't ignored on most other prestigious film lists. As one of my favorite musicals, I've tried to understand if the hate is the worth the hype.

Roxie Hart has big plans for herself. Snuggling up to her lover explaining her dreams of being an aloof nightclub singer despite having no real background in entertainment, I love how she imagines this persona of herself; to give her fans just enough to always leave them wanting more. It's just the start of some very heavy delusional wishful thinking and impressive determination. Going to jail for killing her lover doesn't stop her ability to manipulate the public from behind bars. From innocent wifey to fame hogging monster Zellweger portrays Roxie with just enough deviousness to make you believe she isn't as foolish as she appears, yet is so deranged you believe she can hold her own. She steals the show for me all the way.