I finally saw Dreamgirls tonight. I was not familiar with the Broadway play on which the movie was based, so I didn’t know much going into it except that it was about a group of singers and, well, that it would have lots of music.
And the music was excellent. I anticipate a soundtrack purchase in my near future. Many of the songs had my foot a-tapping. The songs, like the plot, increased in power as the show went on. What started lighthearted and almost fluffy grew into a very strong story. The acting was good all around, and the singing was wonderful.
The story spanned a decade from the late sixties through the early seventies, and the passage of time was shown through the marvelously detailed and meticulously accurate changing costumes, sets, hairstyles, and even the fonts on printed text. Historical events, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream speech and the Detroit riots, further anchored the story in its period. (And bonus for me, who likes to see how stuff works, there was a close-up of a vinyl record being pressed. Neat!)
Beyond the trappings of set and costume, the show was filled with subtle touches. The facial expressions of the nameless, voiceless background characters spoke volumes about the shifting moods and lines of tension. Many plot points were never explicitly stated--a look or a gesture was enough.
Definitely worth your time. I recommend it to just about anyone, unless you hate music or something.
Corridors of Blood
10 months ago