Quick Movie Review: Fame – 2009 – directed by Kevin Tancharoen

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Musicals
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A remake of the classic 1980 musical focusing on the trials and tribulations of a group of aspiring students at the New York Academy of Performing Arts.

Let me begin by saying that I was never really a fan of the original film. The only scene that truly stood out for me was the dance number in the street. Nothing else really captured me. So I went into this remake with quite a lot of hesitation (even though I like a lot of musicals). I had heard the worst about it and heard some scathing reviews but I still thought I’d give it a shot.

I’m happy I did as I will honestly say that I find this version far superior in every way to the original. (I know many won’t agree and that’s fine)

So what did the film do so right?

Well firstly I thought it was a beautiful film to look at. the cinematography is truly brilliant and each shot is stunning. This is especially true of the various musical numbers that litter the piece. They are brilliant to watch and just stand out. The score is also amazingly strong beginning with a great remix of the Fame theme and through to the amazing final song which sums up everything the characters have been through. some may not like the modernised songs but I really think that they work in the film. The music and the visuals play off one another to create an almost theatrical feel to everything that helps express many of the films emotional moments.  The final song brings an uplifting end to an emotional story, while never feeling over the top.

There are lots of characters in the film, all of which seem to be written really well. It never feels like it focuses too much on one person and throughout it’s 2 hour run time gives each character a spot in the limelight. Even some of the teachers get some time in the spotlight which is nice. It’s a nice change that the characters aren’t perfect and that they each contain the flaws that real humans do. They also face real problems with real outcomes. None of this is more evident then the attempted suicide towards the end which really does highlight how much a person can truly live for what they want to do.

The structure of the classes that they attend also seem to be realistic in terms of art schools. they learn a bit of everything until their final year when they can specialise completely in the craft of their choosing. I think this is what helped me get into the film more as I could semi relate to the school itself and felt like it was run how a real school would be.

There are some truly cheesy moments of courting between some of the main characters but to be fair the love story angle isn’t over emphasised and is simply the story of two of the characters. Unlike most musicals that over present this love angle, Fame doesn’t. It highlights all aspects of life which happens to include love but never sets out as that as it’s backbone to the story.

Over all I really liked this film and can happily watch it again and again without ever getting bored. 7.5/10

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