March 2, 2010

Nine Review

Nine (2009)
The Weinstein Company
Directed by Rob Marshall

When a movie comes with this many Oscar winners (and nominees), as well as an Oscar-nominated musical director, it's hard not to expect a lot of good out of this movie, but with Nine, this isn't the case.

Despite having Rob Marshall direct a movie that is in a genre of his forte, which is theatrical adaptations, Nine simply didn't have the strength to keep me glued to the screen, there doesn't seem to be much tension in regards with what movie the director Guido (played by the always watchable Daniel Day-Lewis) will write for his next film Italia. Frankly, I was expecting "milkshakes" to be the solution, but I doubt that's the case.

Speaking of "milkshakes", the movie shows several different women whose milkshakes are probably better than yours, and all of these women have something to do with Guido's life. Truly, you could say that this is a bit of a character study, and a character study of the major characters that compose the character's life, and like many musicals, all of the exposition is tread in the form of song and dance numbers to ease out the usually cringe-inducing pace a movie has to adopt to introduce characters and the world. Unfortunately, these musical numbers literally come out at you in succession, as in 5 minute musical number, then 3 minutes of talking, then musical number and 1 minute of talking. At the rate it went, I was left speechless- speechless as to whether the story will even come together at all. These musical numbers do nothing to get me interested in Guido's life, even though it presents a unique approach in the director character's fleshing out. I mean, ideally, each woman character is supposed to probably be a major influence on Guido, so his life unfolds but in their perspective. Too bad, the potential is squandered in favor of various kinds of striptease (Penelope Cruz's was just vulgar instead of sexy), and various efforts at getting at least one bankable musical track to sell to some music video channel.

Now, maybe all of the seemingly pointless musical numbers/character study moments culminate to a sort of bizarre revelation, but quite frankly, I could care less. After an hour and 30 minutes of seeing the corrupted mind of a young version of Guido paying Fergie to tease? Please spare me. I walked out of the movie by that time, giving up any hope of it actually moving on to any revelation or denouement; it bored me to tears.

Maybe the movie could've been stripped to the Penelope Cruz-Daniel Day Lewis-Marion Cotillard affair, but NOOOOOOO... let's just distract the audience with flashy dancing and music, maybe a bit of sexy folie berge, whatever it's spelled. Sex may sell, but not in this way. Not in this way.

This is already reflected by its abysmal box office returns, proving that a crappy movie with A-listers doesn't always sell. Movie, you may have Judi Dench, but as classy as the Dame is, coherence is still much more elegant. And that's the thing you lack.

Oh, and plot perhaps?

My father succinctly summarized it for me, "Puro musical numbers para sa bawat star". A movie, hell a musical, about writer's block could've been interesting, but I got too bored with it, and gave up on it.

Rating: 3/10 (Penelope Cruz's Oscar nomination is overrated)

1 comment:

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