Monday, January 06, 2003

Compare and Contrast

Chicago is sheer entertainment, a feast for the eyes and ears. But what do we take away from it? There's nothing new about the idea that the media/public love a scandal, love murder and mayhem, fall for the razzle-dazzle every time. I love RZ and CZJ's performances as Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, beyond their singing and dancing, because their acting talents make these women believable and lovable and we root for them. But step outside of the movie world, and do we really want to root for these murderesses? Are they victims? Are they good people?

The Hours is layered, and rich with truths about sadness. Here are three women, who are so incredibly real -- thanks to the writing and the performances -- that it hurts. I'm still thinking about whether it was a story about repressed homosexuality, or clinical depression and mental instability. At dinner the other night, someone said she felt like she was watching a story about sadness, but it didn't pull her into the sadness and make her depressed. Many who see it will say that it was too depressing, some will stay away because of it. But I felt optimistic about the world after seeing the movie. You can't pretend that sadness doesn't exist. They can't all be Maid in Manhattan, folks. That's escapist fluff, and it's fine, but don't you sometimes want to look deeper into the human condition?

I'd like to see both movies again. Even though Chicago is the one to watch over and over, I think there's more to say and think about The Hours.

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