Friday, September 9, 2011


Aids. Homosexuality. Friendship. Life. LOVE.

When I saw Rent's trailer included in my vcd of Memoirs of A Geisha, I felt anxious to buy a vcd of it. Obviously, I haven't watched the original Broadway show but watching the original Broadway actors in the film gave me somehow a Broadway feeling (whatever that is :))

The movie was good for me because of the transition of scenes. I found out that the sequence of the scenes and the number of songs were edited, but for me, Christopher Colombus did a great job. The songs were great. (thanks to Jonathan Larson who writes music better than Andrew Lloyd Webber). The production also of slums in New York was cool also for me and really convincing. The community was really captured both by the actors and the sets. It was really an awesome movie and I can't speak any negative comments to it.

The original Broadway musical was finished in 1993 by Jonathan Larson, including the music and the lyrics, but was produced all over the world since 1996, because of delays after Larson died. The movie was written by Stephen Chbosky (who wrote Perks of Being A Wallflower). And both was a modernization of the Giacomo Puccini's opera, La Boheme (too bad I failed to watch Teatro Tomasino's production of it).

What's good and unique in this musical is that the songs are rock. Not the Singin' in the Rain dancing but ROCK, man! So when I was watching it, I was really hooked up. It's good to watch it, no doubt, and defintely, a play that has sense in it.

Why? because of the inclusion of themes of poverty, drugs, prostitution and homosexuality. This musical took the courage in tackling such taboo subjects (okay, I'm writing in the Filipino conservative perspective) and was excellent in conveying messages of acceptance, friendship, fidelity, and love.

All characters were great (not talking bout the acting but about their stories). Each has its own character, personality, ideology, belief, etiquette. As an actor, that very specific, grown, and definitely challenging roles were somehow easy to portray because of their vividness.

My favorite songs in the film were "Seasons of Love", "One Song Glory", "I'll Cover You" and the short, tear-jerker, hair-standing "Will I?"

After watching the film, I downloaded the song "Will I?" and watched Queen Latifah in Life Support. It's the short round song in the film, that aside from its chorale style, I fell in love to it because of it message. But what made my hair stand up until now that I'm typing this is the background story of the song and the inspiration of it for Larson. Here's a block quote from Wikipedia. (yeah yeah so what. It looks reliable, though):

" 'Will I?', a song which takes place during a Life Support meeting and expresses the pain and fear of living a life with AIDS, was inspired by a real event. Larson attended a meeting of Friends in Deed, an organization that helps people deal with illness and grief, much like Life Support. After that first time, Larson attended the meetings regularly. During one meeting, a man stood up and said that he was not afraid of dying. He did say, however, that there was one thing of which he was afraid: Would he lose his dignity? From this question stemmed the first line in the single stanza of this song. The people present at the Life Support meeting in the show, such as Gordon, Ali, and Pam carry the names of Larson's friends who died of AIDS. In the Broadway show, the names of the characters in that particular scene (they introduce themselves) are changed nightly to honor the friends of the cast members who are living with or have died from AIDS."

Here ends my review of Rent. Hope you've enjoyed also the movie just like me. :)

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