Burlesque was full of promise. I thought I would be able to see something spectacular after Moulin Rouge and Chicago. I put my hopes in Cher’s academy award history, Christina Aguilera’s strong will to prove her acting skills and Stanley Pucci’s undeniable capacity to act. I was expecting that beyond the fabulous production numbers and skimpy costumes, there will be a story which will leave a mark in the minds and hearts of the viewers. I expected a lot…and I got disappointed big time.
Acting wise, the cast did pretty well but I wanna commend Cher the most. She played the role of the strong and struggling Tess whose club is endangered by the threat of the bank and a very greedy businessman. She is the embodiment of a women who became stronger through the tests of time. Aside from saving her burlesque club, she was also a concerned mother to her employees- from the dancers, musicians down to the table servers. Tess’ character is full of complexities because of everything she’s been through. Cher’s performance wasn’t overwhelming but it was good enough. She was able to show the different sides of Tess and she was able to give the needed emotions for it. Yet, she could have done better though, given the fact that she bagged the 1987 Academy awards for Best Actress for her performance in Moonstruck. Well, maybe she needs to be oiled a little for it has been more than a decade since her last movie project.
Moreover, Stanley Pucci was good too but I guess we have seen him like this before (hello??? Nigel??? The Devil Wears Prada 2006???). Christina?? Well, she needs more practice though. Like her very eager character country girl Ali, I would like to acknowledge the fact that Christina was not afraid to try different things aside from blowing her pipes. I appreciate her efforts and hard work in portraying her role but she needs more practice though. This is her debut performance as a film actress so it can be still unforgivable but next time she tries acting again, I hope that she would take everything she had learned in Burlesque with her. Singing and dancing wise, she was perfect for the role. Her physique was also right for it but her acting skills are so amateur so she better work on that.
The story was weak. The movie had a good introduction and nice rising actions. But as the story goes to the denouement, it all fell apart. There was a great lack of tension in the story. They could have put some things in the story that could have brought so much drama and spice to the plot but no! The wait for very heightened drama in the latter part of the movie would all just go in to waste. Even the glamour of the production number scenes couldn’t cover up for the dullness of the story
As a gay man, I love production numbers. They will always make my heart skip a beat. Burlesque didn’t fail to give me that feeling. After all, their dancers and choreography were all really great but it’s so hard not to think that there is nothing really new in it. I think the numbers and other things in Burlesque are all based (if not copied) from the movie version of Chicago. Those blinking letters that spelled BURLESQUE, that bob wig Christina had that looked like a blonde version of Velma Kelly, that fake gun that showered confetti to Stanley Pucci’s face…I can’t help but think that this is a subconscious copycat of the broadway-musical-turned-movie.
It could have been a great movie. There was a spark of promise to Burlesque. It was already there from cast and concept but the story just really got flunked. It lack tension and originality and there is nothing about it that can make the movie a remarkable one in it’s genre except that it is a flop. Sad!
Better luck next time, Christina!