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Movie Review: RENT (DVD)

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 Rating: PG-13

 

RENT is a film that is based on the broadway musical of the same time and  features six members of the original broadway cast. Set in New York city, the film follows several bohemian young people as they struggle to pay their rent and live under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Director Chris Columbus and the cast have done a fantastic job, but the film has some flaws.

One of the best things about this film is the music. Without the broadway show tune sound, it sounds a little like something you could listen to on the radio. There are many genres that the songs incorporate such as rock, gospel, and pop, so there is something for everyone. Also, some of the songs help to create themes for some of the characters. For instance, the scene for the song “Today 4 You” does a good job of capturing the character of Angel and her unselfish and friendly nature.

Another thing about the film that was well done was the characters. They are very diverse because they come from different ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Despite these differences, they have a few things that unite them together. One of the most prominent things is their passion and pride in their art, which is best seen through the scenes for the song “La Vie Bohéme”.

A more tragic thing that binds them together is the threat of HIV/AIDS. Half of the main characters have the disease and so suffer physically and emotionally. Since the film is set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the disease is treated as a threat and so those who have the disease are faced with prejudice and made to feel that no one cares about them and that they are alone. A touching thing in the film that shows the emotional vulnerability of those with HIV/AIDS is the support group Life Support and the song “Will I”?

At the same time, those who do not have the disease are also suffering, because they are aware of the fact their friends are slowly dying. While this isn’t shown very well in the film,  there is a good show of grief that makes up for it a little bit, especially with the song, “I’ll Cover You Reprise”. Another flaw that ruins the film a little is the story duration, i.e. the length of the storyline. Toward the end of the film, it becomes rushed. There were moments that could have been drawn out more.

Overall, the film was very good. I was impressed with the singing talent of the cast and have a few favorite songs and characters from the film. I recommend this film to any young people, particularly those who struggle with coming to terms with who they are. Also, I recommend this film to anyone who needs comfort coping with any disease or loss.

Here is the scene “Will I?” from the film:

Written by Serena Zola

April 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

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