Jesse L. Martin
|"Forget regret, or life is yours to miss."|
|Time: 135 mins.|
|SYNOPSIS: Adapted from the hit Broadway musical, RENT is based on Puccini's classic opera "La Boheme." Jonathan Larson's revolutionary rock opera tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic in New York's gritty East Village.
BOTTOM LINE: How could they give one of the most unimaginative directors working today the task of adapting this stage play to the big screen? Considering what has been done in the last few years to revive the movie musical this interpretation is a travesty. If it weren't for the wonderful performances and moving music this version would be a plodding embarrasment. The lack of visual energy and innovation almost kills the film before it even gets going (there were snickers in the theater), however the earnestness and passion of the cast immediately takes hold and refuses to let go. Though the context of the story is over a decade old, the characters struggles are still relevant and equally poignant in the new Millenium, where disease and poverty still hold sway. Reuniting most of the original cast was a masterstroke and the main reason the film works so well. They understand their characters like no one else could, having lived them for so long, and have an honest connection with each other you just can't fake. RENT is a powerful film because of Larson's words and vision and thankfully even klunky direction can't blunt his message. There's almost no straight dialogue, so if you don't like singing, this is not the film for you. A good way to see what all the fuss was about for those unable to make it to Broadway.