Rent (2005)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Musical, Romance


Rent (2005) Poster

This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.


6.9/10
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  • Rosario Dawson and Adam Pascal in Rent (2005)
  • Jesse L. Martin in Rent (2005)
  • Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp in Rent (2005)
  • Anthony Rapp at an event for Rent (2005)
  • Anthony Rapp at an event for Rent (2005)
  • Chris Columbus and Rosario Dawson in Rent (2005)

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23 November 2005 | jlwb
9
| Dated? I think not, my friends...
So I'm reading the reviews...none seem too terrible, most are lukewarm, and some are even good. But one theme seems to override them: the material is "dated." Figures that journalists, whose livelihoods depend on presenting news flashes that will easily fall into the shadows after something more captivating happens, would find this material dated. You really think the topic of people living with -- not dying from -- AIDS is dated? Wake-up, friends...I'm not one to throw around statistics, but even I can tell you that AIDS is a much bigger problem today than when Jonathan Larson -- a genius in his own right -- wrote this almost 20 years ago. And drug addiction? Yeah let's not even guess how much that statistic has surged.

True, the material is not as shocking as it was when it first graced the stages of NYC 10 years ago. But -- though I never knew the man -- I have a feeling Mr. Larson was not going for shock value. I am sure he realized in his day that his masterpiece would create quite a stir, but I highly doubt that was his purpose. What was it, then? If you ask me, it is obvious ...the human condition.

The elements of humanity that satiate the stage version are virtually all apparent in the film version. These characters are vastly different from each other on the surface -- but listen to their songs. They are all experiencing life. And not only that, for the most part they aren't afraid to experience life -- the devastations, the love, the convictions, the laughter, the tears. Just listen to Seasons of Love -- it's all in there. That song, to me, is the premise of Mr. Larson's story -- this is life. It isn't necessarily glamorous, it isn't always glorious, but this is what happens in a year of these peoples' lives. And the one thing that gets them through it is the fact that they have each other -- their love for one another overshadows all of the intricacies of day-to-day life. And that theme, to me, is never dated, especially when it is portrayed so well, as Chris Columbus and the incredible cast have managed to do.

I applaud everyone who had any part in this film -- aside from the excellent adaption of Jonathan Larson's exquisite piece of art, I think it is extremely important to constantly expose our society to controversial topics, about which most of us don't like to think. And I think the ones that are dubbed "dated" are the most important, because it means that those are probably the ones we have forgotten. But just because it seems "dated" does not mean it has gone away.

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Drama | Musical | Romance

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