I saw Dreamgirls last night. It wasn’t one of those films I really fancied but a friend had a spare ticket and hmmm it was interesting. It had some GREAT bits (Jennifer Hudson’s character in particular is fantastic – strong and fiesty and believeable – and what a voice) but quite a lot of dodgy uneasy bits too.
Eddie Murphy is a bit of a revelation – on stage he’s all flash and James Brown sass but off-stage he gives a generally underplayed, rather knowing performance as his character finds himself at the mercy of music trends; Beyonce is gorgeous and sufficiently wide-eyed then progressively more cynical as her (rather thin) story progresses; Danny Glover is an impressively world-weary promoter with a conscience, and whilst Jamie Foxx is convincing he doesn’t dazzle in a role that could’ve been much more fleshy (the cynic in me thinks that his role was deliberately down-played to let Eddie Murphy deliver a much showier performance). Some of the musical numbers are really enjoyable and fabulously over-the-top with tons of sequins and glitter as befits the 60s and 70s, but some of the musical set-pieces that seek to be ‘conversations in song’ don’t work and had the audience shifting uncomfortably as they seemed to go on an interminably LONG time.
To sum up, ‘Dreamgirls’ is ambitious entertainment, and worth going to see for the sheer spectacle and ambitious scope of the film. Certainly worth seeing for Jennifer Hudsons powerhouse voice and sincere gutsy interpretation of what is at best, an unoriginal role. But it doesn’t deserve a ‘Best Picture’ in any shape or form as the plot gets confusing in the second half and it all gets a little messy as it tries to tie up all the individual story strands.
Jennifer Hudson deserves all the plaudits though – as does the costume department for some truly fabulous frocks!