Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Producers (2005) - was shallow and a bit dull for the most of it, but did feature some enjoyable set-pieces

Viewing context:
Tasha’s pick from LoveFilm. Would have been one that I’d have not been bothered about, but it was one of those nights where i didn’t have the physical or mental ability to do anything; so just enjoyed veging out on the couch with the missus.

Important to note that it was a film adaptation of the theatre production, itself an adaptation of the 1968 film of the same name. This version was directed by Susan Stroman, the director of the stage production. screenplay by Mel Brooks, writer of comedies such as Dracula: Dead and Loving it and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

What Happened:
Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick), an accountant with dreams of becoming a Broadway producer, is going over the books of an eccentric, financially challenged Broadway musical producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and makes a funny quip about how much money you could make out of a flop, as the tax man wouldn’t have much incentive to look into it. The next thing you know, the producer takes advantage of Bloom’s Broadway dream, roping him into going ahead with this hair-brain scheme.

What it did particularly well:
The most fun and enjoyable feature, was that the film can be experienced in bitesize chunks. It lacks the sophistication to be an entire narrative, but taken as many small events or set pieces it can be quite enjoyable.
Max, the original producer was hilarious and really seemed as though he stepped straight out of a 1940s Hollywood comedy, fitting the setting perfectly. Will Ferrel was jarring at first as I didn't know he was in it, but managed to force a few chuckles out of me.

What unimpressed or didn't quite reach potential:
There was nothing about the characters, the interplay between them, or any sort of grand message that really mattered at all. although the individual song and dance numbers were at times thoroughly entertaining, they were also at times dul and lifeless.
Similarly, some characters completely failed to make any kind of impression, including Matthew (Ferris Bueller) Broderick and Uma Thurman's Swedish character Ulla.

I don’t think there was a great deal of sub-text to be read here, just its blatant message of greed, leading to downfall. If there was anything deeper in there, the film certainly didn’t rouse me to dig into what it might be. I was content to just watch the funny bitesize song and dance numbers.

Performance of the film:
The best performances and characters were without a doubt the camp director and his assistant. Roger Bart played the assistant and he stole every scene he was in; the pair of them lit the film up just as it was becoming a bit stale.

Scene of the film:
Make it Gay - The song and dance piece that introduced the above mentioned Camp duo.

Final Word:
Shallow, yet perfectly enjoyable (if you like a song and dance).

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