Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Danny Glover
Muscials are not dead. They just change hands. Earlier it was a white men’s domain. Now, black singers make their own musical, and how!
See this film only for its music and its sheer energy. Allegedly based on the life of singer Diana Ross, the film is not your sad tale of struggle and survival, a la Ray. Instead, this is about strife and struggle which itself makes for memorable music.The film follows the lives of three women — Effie White, Deena Jones, and Lorrell Robinson — who, as members of an R&B singing group called The Dreamettes, become famous as the backing group for soul singer James ‘Thunder’ Early, thanks to manipulative manager and record label executive Curtis Taylor, Jr. But things are changing, soul is making way for pop. And the problem starts when Curtis plans to change the group into The Dreams and decides to replace Deena (Beyoncé Knowles) as the lead singer and his love interest with Effie (Jennifer Hudson).
Watch out for Hudson’s Oscar-winning act, and Knowles, a real-life singer playing a singer to perfection. However, the real star of the show is Eddie Murphy as James Early. Looks like this is a season of extreme makeovers (After Will Smith). No more Nutty Professor here. Murphy as an earnest musician is a revelation.No, musicals aren't dead yet.
Rating: *** 1/2