The film is still about students studying in PA or the New York High School of Performing Arts. And it is still split into sections such as auditions, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. And did you know that Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was inspired by the school in the movie. Maybe there aren't many schools like that before.
Now here are my comments to the film:
First, it was an "almost-fail" blast. The movie was good. But it was not great. Yeah.. Some parts bored me... But some parts wowed me. Especially the last, culminating act. Jeez, Alan Parker (director) didn't even make it emotional. Thanks to the wonderful songs "Out Here On My Own" and "Fame", the movie was passable.
Second, the characters were the same in the remake. However, their personalities and fates were different, only their talents are the same. What I love in the 1980 film is that the characters had more depth and story in their lives. Also, they are more matured and developed. However, back stories were minimal unlike in the remake. Weird because the characters here were fuller and richer than the ones in the remake that were provided with back stories.
Third, the language and the themes of the film are not child-friendly. And that's a plus points for me. You're showing liberal artistic teenagers man! So the acting, the lines, were great for me. Also, the awesome Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray) was exceptional.
Fourth, I expected so much from Irene Cara because not because of her, the songs I've mentioned would not be hits. Hell the movie would be lame without her. But WTF? Naturi Naughton was better.
In conclusion, I loved both films., Both have their pros and cons. How I wish the two would be mixed together. The performances and the cinematography from the remake. And the actors and their characters from the original.