Chicago (2002) – Originally written January 2004
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For a long time, this film has been something I’ve avoided. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an enourmous fan of musicals. “My Fair Lady”, “Les Miserables” and “Oliver Twist” are amongst my favourites, but this film just always looked awful to me. So, I hear you ask, why did I bother watching it?
Well simply put, I felt I kind of owed it to myself to see what it was like. I’ve known people avoid films for a long time expecting them to be awful, only to love them upon viewing. So today I sat down, I got myself a comfy chair, and I made the hard effort to actually watch Oscar’s beloved best picture. My final view of this film two hours later? Truthfully, I’m unsure what to make of it.
A lot of films I’ll sit and watch and I’ll either love from the start or hate from the start. In the case of “Chicago” though, something very unusual happened. For the first hour I sat, I vegetated, and I constantly pondered reaching for the remote and turning it off. For sixty minutes or so, I really do think this film is awful. Then for some unexplainable reason though, it seemed to begin to appeal to me, and the second half of it was a fully enjoyable motion picture event. Oscar winning material however? Not in the slightest. The Best Picture award is laughable, as was Catherine Zeta Jones’s award. To be brutally frank, if any award was due for this film, it was to John C Reilly who once again showed how good an actor he can be. Other than his performance though, the film seemed lacking in any markable levels.
Ultimately, I guess by the end, I must confess, to my ever lasting regret, to enjoy this film. It’s just a shame though that the first half was so abysmal. In total, hopelessly over-rated and Oscar needs to learn better.