Monday: 28.November.2005

RENT: No Day But Today - A Rad film / movie review

Saw RENT last night. The film. Wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Based on one of Broadway's longest-running musicals. Actually, it's called a rock opera (based on Puccini's La Boheme). The Broadway play has won just about every imaginable award, including a Pulitzer.

The story's byline is: No day but today. Seems the Romans said the same thing two thousand years ago: carpe diem, or seize the day. Isn't there a verse of scripture that says Tomorrow is promised to no man? Today is all we have. Life is short. So live it up, baby.

RENT is a musical, so most of the story is sung .. which won't appeal to everyone, cuz people don't normally sing their way thru life.

Set in the Big Apple's gritty East Village. The film's title comes from the thing our bohemians have trouble paying. Any of you ever had trouble paying the rent? It does lend a certain lively immediacy to life.

continued

Nothing like when the man comes to turns off your electricity. The story starts by people burning scripts for heat in a trashcan inside their dilapidated tenement.

Depressing story. Everybody is HIV-positive. Most are gay, hooked on heroin, or both. The most colorful character dies a horrible death. Love is elusive, the cause for much heartache.

Interesting contrast between the romantic bohemes and their lives of despair in the city of cynics, where the hopeless search for meaning and hope. In their urban wasteland, corporations are considered the ultimate evil.

Not sure how the film will be received by West coast audiences. I had to switch over to an East coast mindset in order to "get into" it. (Grew up not far from the city.) Each coast has its own distinct culture and set of values. With nary a palm tree anywhere, the story seems out-of-place here, like a foreign film.

Difficult to turn a Broadway play into a Hollywood film, especially so with a musical, which is probably why the film has an equally boring part for every magical moment.

The viewer must use his imagination to transcend the limitations of the media (film) in an effort to sync up with the ideals presented by the story, which was originally designed for a Broadway play. In other words, imagine what the live stage performance must've been like, cuz that's where the magic originated from.

Worth seeing to get an idea of what took Broadway by storm, but that's about it. Viewed as a film, you're likely to come away disappointed, as I did. Musicals ain't my bag, anyway.

At the end, one character screens a finished film he's been working on all story long (a flurry of images illuminate their tenement wall) .. something anybody with a camcorder and computer can do these days. Reviews.

And speaking of RENT .. well, that's a discussion we'll save for another day.

For more info, here is a Google search pre-configured for the query: rent film movie review columbus





Posted by Rad at November 28, 2005 08:48 AM

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