The Prom Movie Review Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars!)
Director: Ryan Murphy
What’s Good: The positivity it boasts along with the presence of Streep’s supreme talent, it gets unexpectedly funny in parts & leaves a lasting impact with its ‘soul-stirring’ message
What’s Bad: With everything falling into its places, I guess this deserved a couple more good songs. It has some great ones, but then the not-so-great ones are pretty average
Loo Break: Only if you’re from those who complain about too many songs in a musical
Watch or Not?: Once you’re done with the film, you won’t believe how good it is to lift your Gloomy mood. So, a big, yes!
It all starts with a bad review against a Broadway show, consisting of a group of failed but narcissists actors is led by Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep). The review compels them to get good PR, and for that Angie (Nicole Kidman) tells the group about a social cause they could back for free publicity. They land Indiana to support a lesbian girl, Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) who was denied an entry at her own prom.
“She can’t attend the prom with her like a lesbian partner, those aren’t our values,” ordered the PTA (Parents Teachers Association). This breaks Emma’s heart, but she isn’t yet aware of what’s coming next? Dee Dee, Angie, Barry (James Cordon) decide to throw her the surprise of her lifetime.
The Prom Movie Review: Script Analysis
Based on Chad Begueli’s musical show of the same name, the film amalgamates its two very good features to maintain the connect, i.e. a good writer & superlative performers.
Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar remodify the ready script making sure to sprinkle razzmatazz all over it. From what looked like a tolerance debate backing the LGBTQ Community, the script is ‘oh so much more!’. It goes from being the voice of its central characters to suddenly drifting into paying a heart-aching tribute to actors around the world.
Could sound cliched but, I think the makers should’ve made a slide-show of the artists we lost recently & could’ve used during Keegan-Michael Key’s tribute monologue about actors. The commentary around the fear of rejection, lands in smoothly. Full marks to Matthew Libatique for introducing us to a refreshing camera-work despite maintaining the recurring theme of musicals. Totally loved the way he zooms just about right for the sensual effect, as breathtaking Nicole Kidman performs on Zazz.
Peggy Tachdjian & Danielle Wang had a bucket full of mellifluous content to edit. Another good thing about the story is that it never leaves a single character unexplored. Hence, Peggy & Danielle chose to go over 130 minutes instead of editing out things which mattered. Every character is interdependent on each other to find its solace. Even though Meryl Streep’s group is renowned all over the states, they still needed Ema & gang to get clarity in their life.
The Prom Movie Review: Star Performance
Even for someone as accomplished as Meryl Streep, Dee Dee Allen is a complicated one to achieve. But, Meryl makes it look so easy & it’s indeed not. Strangely reminiscent to what Catherine O’Hara did with Moira Rose in Schitt’s Creek. At the end of the day, this wasn’t just about acting good & Meryl smoothly ticks a ‘yes’ to every check box that’s required.
James Corden’s Barry is one hell of a character. Going through this emotional rollercoaster within himself, Barry manages to put up an exaggerated show all the time. This layer helps Cordon to develop a Relatable bond with the audience.
How could Jo Ellen Pellman manage to smile for 99% of the time as Emma, and still light up the screen every single time? I thought I’ll be done with ever-smiley but oh boy, does she grows on you?
Nicole Kidman gets a tricky role to play for only one reason – she doesn’t enjoy a similar emotional depth as others have. With just a couple of scenes to dominate, she entices you in ways you can never imagine.
Keegan-Michael Key as the school’s principal Tom makes a sincere pair with Meryl Streep. He owns the best moment of the film for me (we look to you). What Andrew Rannells manages to achieve is good, but I believe with the amount of charm he carries around remains unjustified. Ariana DeBose’s Alyssa enjoys a character graph every actor dreams about. From bring a routine support-cast to getting straight alongside the protagonist, Ariana does everything right.
The Prom Movie Review: Direction, Music
Ryan Murphy gifts us the best thing that happened to this genre (Fiction Musical) since La La Land. [I’m of course not including Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway musical Hamilton.] Thankfully he doesn’t choose to go ‘all musically way & keeps a neat mix of multiple sub-plots. The gay love story between the leads, the gay intolerance debate, hilarious portions like Meryl showcasing her Tony Awards for getting a good hotel suite – Ryan confidently mashes up everything into this huge soulful rock of visual delight.
Matthew Sklar has known this Project for longer than almost everyone on this film. He penned the music for the originals Broadway shoe too. The songs are a mixed bag for sure. Some situations needed songs, and they’re there, some needed nothing, but they’re still there.
In ‘Just Breathe’ Emma reminds herself just to breathe & everything will be fine, ‘It’s Not About Me’ is all about Meryl Streep’s narcissistic behaviour. The lead’s romantic track, this album’s ‘City Of Stars’ is Dance With You & it could’ve been so so much better. That song faded like a morning dream & that’s a bad look for the one which needed to work the most. We Look At You (my personal favourite from the album) & Love Thy Neighbour makes the most of the situations they are placed on. Also, some unexpected situations turning into songs leaves a sweet aftertaste.
The Prom Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done; it’s always a good thing to be blessed by a grand & tumultuous musical. Addressing multiple issues layered by a dreamy spell of magic might be an issue for some, but that’s the film’s strength for me. Even if you’re not much of a fan of musicals, this might be the first one you like.
The Prom Trailer
The Prom releases on 11th December, 2020.
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