Monthly Archives: November 2005

Rent (2005)

The main reason the movie adaptation of the musical Chicago worked so well was the way the musical numbers were framed within the imagination of the lead character.

The audience didn’t need to suspend its belief about people spontaneously bursting into song because it had a plausible “out”. And thankfully, the story lent itself well to such a device.

Rent isn’t so easily confined. The original stage production was thoroughly-sung, and a literal translation of that production would have meant two hours of straight song.

So Rent, the movie, turns to dialog for parts of the story and keeps other parts in song. Does it work? Only if you’re familiar with how opera works.

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