Hey All -
Although I don't post much, I lurk often! Knowing that there are a few Rentheads on this board, I wanted to share the following review that I sent out to my friends today. Enjoy!
Thanks to a great friend, I was able to see an advance showing of the filmed version of “Rent” at a music industry screening last night at the Director’s Guild of America.
I’ve been a bit, well, obsessed, with the musical “Rent” since I saw it onstage in San Diego about eight years ago. For some reason, this show just struck a nerve and touched me in a way that no other piece of art ever has.
I came to the film screening with a bit of trepidation – would my beloved musical be able to transition from the stage to the big screen? What if I hated the direction it took? Although the trailers that I saw for the film looked promising, I was still nervous that my favorite musical would lose its power on a big screen.
My fellow Rentheads - rejoice! All of the power of the stage show has been transferred to the big screen. As soon as the first song finished, I breathed a sigh of relief. While Jonathan Larson’s vision for “Rent” is expanded in ways in which it never could be on stage, the simplicity and power of his message is retained in the film version.
Kudos to director Chris Columbus (yup, the same guy who made “Goonies” and “Adventures in Babysitting” – go figure!) for doing an amazing job of bringing “Rent” to the screen. Before the screening, he stated that the music of “Rent” had been his personal soundtrack for the last nine years. It showed- the man gets it and you can see the care that went into preserving the tone of the stage show. Visually, the film is stunning and the performances are spot on. Out of the amazing cast, I felt that Jesse L. Martin was a standout and I hope that he is remembered by the Motion Picture Academy come Oscar nomination time.
Just as “Rent” revolutionized the theater world, I believe that there has never been a movie like “Rent”. I think this movie will appeal to those who traditionally shy away from musicals. The film, quite simply, rocks. While I was with the “sit on your hands” industry crowd last night, once the movie hits the general audiences, I’m sure that people will be breaking into applause as they would if at an actual concert. The sound is that good, y’all! I advise you to see it in a theater with a great sound system – you won’t be disappointed.
The beauty of “Rent” is its message – live life to it’s fullest, remain true to your vision, and be thankful for the blessings of friendship. That message is timeless, and perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Honestly, I don’t know it will be a hit film, but I certainly hope so.