Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicago (2002)

Chicago (2002)

Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.


Rob Marshall


Bill CondonBob Fosse

Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) leads a boring life with her husband Amos (John C. Reilly) while dreams to become a Cabaret dancer in the 1920s Chicago. She takes as a lover Fred (Dominic West), a man who claims to have connections in the entertainment world and promises to make her a star. When he breaks up with her and tells her it was all a lie, Roxie loses her mind and shoots him to death. She persuades her husband to tell the police that Fred was a bugler who had broken into the apartment and that he had shot him to protect his wife. But as Amos finds out the identity of the deceased, he realizes he was the man who had sold them their furniture and that he wasn’t a thief after all.

Roxie goes to jail while awaits for her trial that could end in her execution. The prison is controlled by the agent Matron (Queen Latifah), who calls herself “Mama” and gets the girls special favors in exchange for money. There, Roxie recognizes Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a former Cabaret dancer who shot her sister and her husband after catching them in bed together. She also learns the story of five other women who like her are facing death row. She finds out about a lawyer called Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) who has never lost a case and charges $5,000 to represent her. As he takes Roxie’s case, Billy makes her his new favorite client, creating a whole life story for her and teaching her what to say and how to act for the jury. Roxy becomes the new media sweetheart, stealing Velma’s place on the spotlight.

Everything is going well for Roxie, as she has fame and all the newspapers talk about her. Things get in jeopardy when a new killer, a socialite called Kitty (Lucy Liu) is arrested for a triple homicide and Billy forgets about Roxie and tries to take Kitty’s case. She then fakes a pregnancy in order to get back the media attention. This strategy is very successful as she regains her place on the front pages and her trial is set. 

After a very dramatic trial, staged by Roxie and Billy, she is declared innocent by the jury. But on the same moment, a woman shots a man on the street outside the courthouse and all the reporters leave the building without taking a single picture of her, which makes her very upset. A few years later she’s trying to get a part at a musical and meets Velma who suggests that they work together, even though they hate each other. And, finally, Roxie has the fame she always wished for.

The movie shows the magic and glamour of the cabarets in the 1920s with great singing performances from both Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It also shows how easily a person can be on top of the world, with fame, admirers, and lots of attention, but it also shows how it all can go away just as fast. When we think about lawyer Billy and his tricks, we wonder how many times we let ourselves be fooled by other people’s acting as they twisted the truth. As Billy told Roxie, the truth doesn’t matter, people just want to be dazzled by an act filled with sparks and all that Jazz.

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1 comment:

  1. Everyone seems to have seen this apart from me! I'm going to have to get a copy of it and check it out. I love musicals so it sounds like I'd probably enjoy it :) Thanks for sharing!


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