I went into Fame 2009 without preconceptions. I read no reviews, and I talked to no one who had seen it. I was hoping for the best due to my countless hours in high school spent being so engaged with re-runs of the TV series broadcasted on Bravo. But, at the same time, knew that it could be as disappointing as the Broadway production that came out a few years ago.
The film started out almost a mirror of the opening sequence of the original film. And, throughout, it kept a lot with the original plotlines albeit with some minor updates; adding elements such as youtube, and hip hop.
It was not horrible. I did not feel like I wasted my fourteen dollars. The songs sounded amazing, and the dance sequences were impressive. It was filmed on a nice grainy film, which gave it a beautiful, gritty, and almost documentary type feel.
Perhaps it was the documentary type feel that left me disappointed that it didn’t really document the lives of the characters. They were introduced, we found out a couple of things about them then the film moved on to another character.
This rapid movement through the characters resulted in the movie being fairly emotionally flat. Some horrible things happened to the students in senior year but as there was little emotional connection to the characters, I found myself nonchalantly thinking “oh, that’s too bad”, rather than deeply caring.
Naturi Naughton (as Denise Dupree) was definitely the highlight of the film. Her voice, coupled with her stage presence had me feeling that she was the only one who would stand a chance at becoming famous. Then again, the film moved so fast, there was not really a sense of what the other students were truly capable of.
The original film was about 30 minutes longer and perhaps that is what this one needed. It’s not a film to avoid, but the only reason I would say to run out and see it is because it will be much better looking and sounding on the big screen.
Reviewed by Jef Kearns
Jef Kearns is a Soul Flautist proving that flute can be just as down-and-dirty as sax. He can be found at www.jefkearns.com