I remember that evening, one of the many horrifying ones, during the fresher term of my AFMC life. The seniors were hell-bent on ‘orienting’ us during that period of six weeks. And twice each week, we could escape the post-dinner session with seniors – Tuesdays and Fridays – they were movie days. In the Open Air Theatre of our college, movies are still screened twice each week. But during the fresher term it was more than a movie theatre – it was the place where we could sit with dignity and relief, and smile. Even back then, movies were what relieved us from our everyday trauma. So, I remember that evening when ‘Chicago’ was screened, and I was anticipating something wonderful – it had won the Best Picture Oscar a few months ago. I remember being disappointed – nothing in the movie made sense to me. Back then, not many English movies made sense to me.
‘Sound of Music’ was perhaps the first Musical I really enjoyed. Three years into my college life, I had already discovered cinema. I wondered – why doesn’t Hollywood produce more movies with songs and dance – they did it so well! My review of that film was perhaps my first User Review on IMDB. I showed that movie to my mom. I kept watching the songs repeatedly. I downloaded the lyrics and sang along. I still do.
So later, after having loved ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Sweeny Todd’ and ‘My Fair Lady’, I was looking forward to watch ‘Chicago’ again. This time, I was sure, it would be magical.
And magical it was. It has been close to one month now, since I watched this Rob Marshall film for the first time. And my brother and I keep revisiting it again and again. I watched a portion of it in altered sense of consciousness this Holi, and what a trip it was! But all this while I kept wondering – whether I should recommend it here as a Must-Watch. I really wanted to, but my mind cautioned me – recommending ‘Chicago’ would mean recommending a whole bunch of musicals. After all, the critic world-over rate many other musicals above it.
But when I found myself revisiting the movie compulsively, so much so that it started interfering with my writing; when I kept humming the songs for days altogether – even during the World Cup euphoria; when Renee Zellweger’s charm started chasing me even in my dreams, and I obsessed myself with the plans of making a Musical, how could I keep listening to the sterile logic of my dominant cerebral hemisphere? So here it is - my first recommendation in months – ‘Chicago,’ a movie that you will fall in love with. And I don’t care how many Musicals I end up recommending on this blog.
“I’m a star. And the audience loves me, and I love them. And they love me for loving them and I love them for loving me. And we love each other. And that’s ‘cause none of us got enough love in our childhoods.” – Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago’