User rating -
I was a little dubious about Chicago being taken to the big screen but this film is truly a breathtaking spectacle. As others have said, don't try to compare it to Moulin Rouge - the two are totally different films; the only factor they have in common is the fact they are musicals!
Catherine Zeta-Jones is perfectly cast as Velma Kelly, conveying moments of insecurity beneath her cold-hearted careless exterior, while Renee Zelwegger as Roxie makes her ambitious, selfish character occasionally reveals vulnerability in a touching manner. Zeta-Jones does seem a bit 'heavy' for some of the dance roles, but maybe this is just in comparison to Zelwegger's lighter frame - and it doesn't mean that she isn't a very good dancer with a rich voice.
Richard Gere obviously relishes his role as Billy Flynn, and while his tap-dancing and singing have been maligned by many, I found his singing top-notch. Let's not forget that the whole point about Billy Flynn's tap-dance is that it is supposed to be edgy, bitty, flawed and tense: that's what the courtroom scene is all about! Queen Latifah as Mama Morton is a legend, buxom, glowing and sexy. Jon C Reilly as Amos, as an earlier reviewer says, adds humanity and morality to what could be a rather depressing glorification of murder.
The best thing about Chicago is the way the musical numbers and surreal moments blend in perfectly with "real life". While some musicals are just one song after another, Chicago has a snappy screenplay and well-conceived dialogue which rounds out the characters ("When You're Good to Mama" being one of the best). My favourite moment is probably "Razzle Dazzle" when the courtroom is turned into a circus. Look out for the bejewelled acrobat curling over a bemused Amos's shoulder when he takes the witness stand. Real-life intermingles perfectly with showbiz in this very special film.
Some people love Chicago, some people don't - the vast contrast between the reviews on here speaks for itself - but don't take anyone's word for it. Watch it yourself, and decide for yourself. In my opinion, this is one classy film you can watch time and time again.
By User - miggymoo from Cheltenham, UK
Be the first to write a Chicago Review