I watched this film yesterday and I wasn’t blown away by it. So I wasn’t surprised it only got two stars at DooYoo. This is my review on the modern version of the eighties musical/film “Fame”. This film was released in 2009 and directed by Kevin Tancharoen.
**The main characters**
#Malik (Collins Pennie) is a young black teenager who loves to act and does have some music producing and rap talents as well. He plays the typical “angry ’cause my daddy left me and my mum” boy from the hood. He is trying to be successful with his music and he asks Denise, one of his friends at the school, if she wants to become the singer for his tracks.
#Denise (Naturi Naughton) is a pretty but unsecure pianist who also loves to sing and be the centre of attention. In the beginning of the movie she is just a shy girl and a bit conservative, but while her study progresses she turns more and more into an extravert girl. Her parents are really strict and she is keeping her singing career with Malik a secret.
#Marco (Asher Book) is a very talented boy who loves to sing and has learned to perform in his dads’ restaurant. He also is a gifted piano player and it seems like he doesn’t have to put that much effort into his schoolwork. He is a friendly and a bit shy guy who becomes friends with Jenny.
#Jenny (Kay Panabaker) looks like she is eleven years old and lost in New York. She is a bit nervous and almost messes up her audition, but in the end gets in at the school. She has to work hard to get her talent out and her shy and girly appearance doesn’t work to her advantage. When she becomes friends with Marco she gets a little less shy.
#Alice (Kherington Payne) is a talented dancer who has a bit of a rough look. She has parents that have a lot of money and they don’t like to see her dance, but she chooses to do it anyway and in the movie she shows an amazing dancing talent.
#Victor (Walter Perez) loves to produce music and has a relationship with Alice. Besides him being a friendly guy that likes to make music, his character isn’t really interesting and you never discover what he really is like.
#Kevin (Paul McGil) wants to become a great ballet dancer one day. His parents own a ballet studio in Iowa but Kevin wants to do more than that and works hard to become a great ballet dancer. But that’s about all you will learn from this character as he is around, but none of his real personality is shown.
The story is about a group of new students who start their freshman year at the High school of Performance Arts in New York. The school is not easy to get into and the first minutes of the movie you see great and awful performances of musicians, actors to be, dancers and filmmakers who all want to become a student at this school. In this part of the movie, the main characters are also introduced.
The film is split up in four parts; every school year is introduced with a black shot and white title “freshman year or senior year” etc. You see the teenagers making friends, overcoming their fears, fight their way through the strict rules of the school and become graduates in the end. There is some music and dancing in this movie, and I have to say the scene that the teenagers improvise a song during lunchtime is pretty great and made me real enthusiastic to watch the rest of the movie. It is clear all the actors in this movie are young and talented at least when it comes to singing and dancing. As the film develops more and more music and dancing is thrown into it, and less acting.
The story itself isn’t that special. Sure, the teenagers fall in love, break up, something awful happens to one of them and not all of the students meet up to their promises, but I guess that’s a pretty predictable script for such a teenage movie. I really like the parts when the teenagers perform for a live audience as the show itself is a great spectacle to watch. But the characters in the movie don’t have a real personality and too much time is given to unclear storylines that don’t go anywhere.
The acting isn’t great although I bet all of the young actors have more than enough talent. The dancing and singing scenes are pretty amazing I have to say and because of these scenes, the movie deserved three stars to my opinion. If you love a good dancing and singing movie with some unknown young actors this movie is worth watching. I can imagine that if you are a dancer/singer yourself, this movie is a “one to watch”just because of the skilled dancers in it. A nice movie but not the best remake I’ve seen.