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The cinematography was a weird mixture of terrible and brilliant
on September 10, 2016
This is really a gross average of 0s and 5s. The cast's performances were all 5's. The cinematography was a weird mixture of terrible and brilliant. I understand that putting a stage production on film is challenging. The stage performances lost a lot of continuity because of too-numerous cuts. A handful of the cuts were riveting. They would have been even more striking if you didn't have visual whiplash from all the others. Also, dance requires some duration to appreciate the sequence of movement; there was far to little of this. On the other hand, the cuts between "stage" and "reality" were perfect. The biggest drawback, however, was the story. I didn't like anybody. At the end, when Velma and Roxie tell their adoring movie audience "We couldn't have done this without you" I wondered if the message of "Chicago" was supposed to be a criticism of the real audience for watching and elevating nihilistic movies like "Chicago." I don't think Watkins (the 1926 playwright) intended this, and, if anyone can convince me that Bob Fosse wanted to convey that message, I will gladly give "Chicago" 10 out of 5 stars and rank it among the best films/plays ever made. Otherwise, I would sum it up as "great talent going nowhere in pursuit of nothing."