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Chicago Movie Poster

Year: 2002
Director: Rob Marshall

Chicago Download

Cast:

Taye Diggs (Bandleader), Renée Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Cliff Saunders (Stage Manager), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly), Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), Queen Latifah (Matron Mama Morton), John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), Dominic West (Fred Casely), Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine), Jayne Eastwood (Mrs. Borusewicz), Bruce Beaton (Police Photographer), Roman Podhora (Sergeant Fogarty), Colm Feore (Harrison), Robert Smith (Newspaper Photographer (as Rob Smith)), Sean Wayne Doyle (Reporter), Steve Behal (Prison Clerk), Robbie Rox (Prison Guard), Chita Rivera (Nickie), Susan Misner (Liz), Denise Faye (Annie)

Storyline:

Fame hungry Roxie Hart dreams of a life on the Vaudville stage, and spends her nights jazzing it up in the bright lights of Chicago, continually hoping that she'll find her lucky break, and be shot into 1920's stardom, so able to flee her boring husband Amos. In awe of seductive club singer Velma Kelly (who is subsequantly arrested for the murder of her husband and sister - after discovering their affair), Roxie meets Fred Cassely a man who convinces her he can 'make her showbiz career take off'. However after Roxie has undergone the 'casting couch' treatment, and Fred has had his wicked way with her, he reveals that he has no more connections in showbusiness than she does. This is the final straw for Roxie, and her constant anger at rejection explodes. She shoots Fred Cassely and kills him. Upon discovering her infidelity, Roxie's husband Amos refuses to take the blame for the murder and Roxie is sent to jail, pending hanging. In jail she finally meets tabloid darling Velma Kelly, currently receiving huge media attention for the double murder she committed earlier in the tale. Sharing the clink with Velma, are a collection of other sly females, all awaiting trial for the murders of their own partners. Velma is aloof to Roxie, however the prison Warden Mrs Morton offers Roxie the opportunity of representation by slick Chicago lawyer Billy Flynn. Billy is more a showbiz P. R agent than a legal lawyer and minipulates the tabloids into thinking Roxie is no more than an innocent 'good time girl' who took the wrong path, than a scheming murderess. The tabloids go crazy for the new girl on the cell block, and Roxie finally becomes a star. However due to Roxie's new found fame, Velma is forgotten about. She is forced to approach Roxie with an offer of a part in her Vaudville act (filling the gap left by her murdered sister), but Roxie turns down her offer flat, thinking she needs no support in topping the bill. However, just as Velma's star fell, so does Roxie's, when Go-to-hell Kitty arrives at the jail on a multiple murder charge, the press forget Roxie and now she and Velma are in the same boat. With one more trick up her sleave Roxie manages to bring the media attention back onto her, and her day in court arrives. Billy is now ready to play the ultimate showman!

Reviews:

I saw Chicago with my sister yesterday and we were hoping that he movie as going to be fun. We were fulfilled to the fullest. The movie Lavishly well done, energetic and fun to listen to, Chicago is easily on the top 10 best musicals ever. The music in the movie, the rhythm just utterly spellbinding, that's how incredible Chicago is. The movie mostly benefits from it extremely talented cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones shines in Chicago and gives the performance of her lifetime. She well-deserved her Oscar. John C. Rielly, Renee Zellwegger and Queen Latifa deserved their Oscar Nominations.

The cinematography, sound, art directions, and especially the costume design they were all expertly done. I resisting the urge to dance and tap my shoe. What an amazing production it took to create this film. Everyone deserved their Oscar Wins or nominations whomever took part in the production. 1920s Chicago comes alive in breathtaking detail. Everyone whom likes musicals or music should definitely have a listen and watch Chicago.

Rob Marshell truly out did himself in this masterpiece. 10/10

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Fictional characters, as a whole, get away with more than is permissible in reality. They do things we would never condone in our peers, yet still manage to elicit our sympathy. Maybe it's a form of catharsis--instead of inflicting violence on other people, we watch someone onscreen do so and cheer them on. Such is the case with "Chicago"--the film features a large rogue's gallery of criminals, con men, and crooks, yet most of these are surprisingly likeable. And yet, the urge to root for the bad guys is somewhat unsettling, for "Chicago" is a story about people beating the rap by manipulating the public, illiciting their sympathy and playing on their deep-seated need for the bizarre and bloody.

Told one way, the story of "Chicago" sounds like a showbusiness drama: a young girl dreams of stardom. She is initailly naive but learns quickly, rising into the blaze of limelight while an older, more experienced rival resents the new face that's stealing the show. The twist is that the art is murder, and the stage is comprised of the papers, the radio, the courthouse, and the all-devouring public eye. The veteran is Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a nightclub singer who did in her husband and sister after finding them in what is usually called "a compromising position." The newcomer is Roxie Hart (Renee Zelweiger), a cutie-pie who shot her lover after finding out he was using her, and who expects her husband Amos (John C. Reilly, excellent as the quintessentail doormat) to stand by her afterwards. Both women are represented by Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), who brags he can beat any rap for the right price and is probably what Shakespeare had in mind when he made that crack about killing all the lawyers. Flynn's formula is simple: turn the client into a media darling, spin a tragic tale of the good girl ruined by bad choices, and an aquittal is certain.

"Chicago" is a musical, and the film uses a gimmick of establishing two worlds: the real Chicago and a surreal fantasy world in the form of a Jazz-Age theater, where the song and dance takes place. In many musicals this wouldn't work, but here it makes sense. Director Rob Marshall fuses the two worlds together very well, creating images that compliment each other effectively. Some of the concepts look like things you'd see in an editorial cartoon: a press conference becomes a ventroliquist act and puppet show, a trial is depicted as a literal circus. Others offer a reflection of the character's inner self: Amos, in the guise of a baggy-pants comic, bemoans the fact that, like all second banannas, nobody really notices him--even the fantasy audience seems indifferent to his performance (which is, in truth, wonderful).

The ensemble all turns in excellent performances in the acting category, but the singing is more uneven. Zeta-Jones has by far the best voice of the leads, as exemplified by the casually sensual "All That Jazz." Zelweiger is passable, mostly because one gets the impression that her Roxie has more charm and determination than actual talent. Gere only barely manages with the music, and does so mainly on the grounds that Billy Flynn isn't one of the more vocally difficult roles in the music theater cannon. But what he lacks in pipes he makes up for in the character department: his Flynn is a perfectly charismatic scoundrel, one whose talent and danger is in his ability to be so charming. Taye Diggs, who presides over the dream world as the Bandleader, doesn't get to sing, which is a shame because he can--he was in the original cast of "Rent"--but works very well with what he's given.

The mix of glitter and grime in "Chicago" is reminicent of last year's "Moulin Rouge," but those who thought the latter too excessive will probably find this one more appealing. Any fan of music theater, however, will not want to miss this film--it may just be the rebirth of the movie musical we've been hearing about.

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