Musicals hold a special place in the movie world. Most films from the 40’s and 50’s had at least one musical number in one form or another. In the last few years, classics like Moulin Rouge, Sweeney Todd, and Chicago have come into our hearts and MP3 players. So how does a musical stick out against them? Put two massive superstars and cover them in sequins.
Burlesque bursts onto the stage with singing legends Christina Aguilera and Cher, both of which have been household names for years. The plot is classic. Small town girl Ali (Aguilera) travels to the magical Hollywood to try and earn her fame. She finds the intriguing Burlesque, a smoky nightclub devoted to the old style of sexy dancing without stripping. Its owner, Tess (Cher) is reluctant to hire the new girl until she struts her stuff onstage. To add steam to the story is Jack (Cam Gigandet), kind bartender who helps Aguilera make her place in the club. Also, Grey’s Anatomy’s legendary McSteamy, Eric Dane, plays Marcus, the rich real estate tycoon who wants to steal Aguilera and turn the Burlesque into another tacky skyscraper.
The plot is the run of the mill rags to riches Hollywood story, and isn’t really that creative or original. In a film like this though, the plot is only a framing device for the music and dance numbers. Cher shows that, after all these years, she is still every bit the legendary performer she’s always been. This is the first film she’s actually sung in and she delivered perfectly. The only disappointing points are that, due to certain surgical procedures, she is no longer capable of frowning. So her dramatic scenes lose a lot of believability when she looks like the Joker. Also, she only gets two numbers and spends the finale’ drinking a martini. Aguilera is great but for a movie with two superstar singers, it felt a little off balanced for the Aguilera side.
As stated, Aguilera is spellbinding. Her voice is part of several show stoppers throughout the film. Any fan would definitely say she was in rare form. Her rendition of the classic “Diamonds”, done by Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Nicole Kidman will be downloaded faster than the latest Glee song.
The costume design deserves a nod in this film. It’s incredible to see all the interesting things that can be done with sequins and glitter after all these years, including the fact that Cher actually still looks good in anything. There will probably be a nomination for an Oscar for this film, if the singing and awesome dance numbers aren’t already.
Overall, the movie was great for fans of musicals, Cher, and Aguilera. The soundtrack is phenomenal, the performances on stage are great and it’s definitely a must see for anyone who likes shiny things.
Burlesque is rated R for some nudity, most of it because all the girls are wearing at times are a few well-placed sequins, erotic dances and a little language.