Thursday, August 20, 2009

#83 Cabaret 1972

My first experience with Cabaret was last year at school. My friends and I had decided to go to the performance being advertised on campus. As I would be coming right from class, I had to meet them there. However, in my seemingly infinite absentmindedness , I went to the wrong theater after class. By the time I got to the right theater, half of the play was over. So, up until tonight, had only ever seen half of Cabaret, in any form.

I thought the film was excellent. It was not one of my favorites, but wonderful nonetheless. My favorite scenes were those in the Cabaret, the song and dance numbers. I love the concept of a place where all the problems and troubles of the world are left at the door and everyone there has agreed to engage in mindless fun. In the film, I especially loved how the scene would switch from a Cabaret song to something happening in the outside world. Sometimes the action outside mirrored the some being sung. However, many times the two scenes were very different from one another. Switching between the two continually reiterated the stark difference between the world within the Cabaret and that outside it. It was a brilliant way to display the allure and purpose of the Cabaret.

Further, Liza Minnelli was amazing. Her talent as a performer alone is enviable, but her acting skills were also wonderful. She was outlandish were it was necessary, (which of course was often) but was also adept at being subtle and softly convincing. Her character was half harlot, half child, and she portrayed her beautifully.

Minnelli’s character, Sally, and Michael York’s, Brian, are two people that go through a rollercoaster of emotions and temperaments. Yet, somewhere the transition from one to another did not seem harsh at all. Instead, the characters changed and evolved (or sometimes regressed) smoothly. I was very impressed.

The only complaint that I have is a rather significant. I was often bored with the film. Although the story was interesting, in the slower moments of the film, I found myself checking to see how much time was left. Nonetheless, the film was very good. I especially commend the editing, direction, and performance from Ms. Minnelli. Like the most of the other movies on my list, this film is a great example for all others.

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