Dreamgirls Review

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Hank's review of Dreamgirls

★★★★☆

“As a big fan of Motown and black music in general I...”

Written on: 05/02/2007 by Hank (124 reviews written)

Good Points
Murphy/Hudson steal the show
Some good songs
Danny Glover back in the big time
First half excellent

Bad Points
Contrived ending
Beyonce/Foxx are wooden
Too much music & not enough acting

General Comments
As a big fan of Motown and black music in general I was eager to see Dreamgirls ever since I saw the trailer a month or two ago. This film left me with fairly mixed emotions but I think the positives outweighed the negatives.



The plot is loosely based around the rise of Motown music from being a niche to a mainstream sound and in particular the rise of The Supremes. We are assured any similarities between the film and real life are a coincidence but you get the drift fairly easily. The film introduces us to all the major characters in the early going as we get to see the female 3 piece (The Dreamettes) enter a talent contest to get their big break. Here they are introduced to Curtis Jackson (Foxx) a car dealer cum music manager looking to make some headway in the business. He gets them a gig as backing vocalists for enigmatic soulster James 'Thunder' Early (Eddie Murphy).



It isn't long before 'The Thunder' is old news and the girls become the main act thanks to their cross cultural appeal manipulated by the cunning Jackson, who drops his girlfriend and lead singer Efi (Hudson) in favour of the aesthetically more pleasing pin-up Deena White (Beyonce). This proves a masterstroke as The Dreamettes become a world wide sensation; however it leads to the downfall of Efi as she can't take the rejection of her boyfriend.



The rest of the film charts the rise and fall of the Dreamettes and their manager.



There are a lot of positives to take from Dreamgirls. Eddie Murphy illuminates the screen as 'The Thunder' and you miss him when he's not involved. This film should proves to be Murphy's passport back to critical acclaim as he plays the character with such gusto and leaves behind several challenge-less roles he has taken up over the years. Another actor who should be back in the big time after this film is Danny Glover who puts in a solid showing as Thunder's old school manager who is out-maneuvered by the smooth talking Curtis.



It is Jennifer Hudson's Efi who will take most of the plaudits for her powerful voice and impressive acting chops. This is an amazing showing for her first picture and it is amazing to think she is a product of the American Idol format.



There are also a few complaints with this film. Sadly Beyonce's Deena White doesn't quite cut the mustard in the 'Diana Ross' role. Her voice and look are decent but apart from that she is barely noticeable. Her character also undergoes an 11h hour rehabilitation that I just couldn't swallow. Put simply she is upstaged by newcomer Hudson and old-timer Murphy.



Jamie Foxx is also a disappointment and you get the impression he wasn't challenged at all in this role. His characters story arc was also poorly done turning from an ambitious but fairly decent guy to a selfish megalomaniac almost overnight.



The signing sadly also becomes too much and a less is more philosophy would have suited me better - there was too much singing for a cinema audience.



Finally the ending is totally contrived and unrealistic.



That said I would recommend this film because it is the best Eddie Murphy performance in a long, long time and some of the music is a joy.

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy

    Starring Actor/Actress

  • Cinema

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Helen Of Troy's Response to Hank's Review

Written on: 05/02/2007

Excellent review again Hank.
<br/>If it has Motown music and Eddie Murphy, this film I must see!

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The Daddy's Response to Hank's Review

Written on: 08/02/2007

Good review mate, top marks from The Daddy!!!

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Helen Of Troy's Response to Hank's Review

Written on: 06/02/2007

I agree Hank. Come on you guys! Expert status for this review!

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Hank's Response to Hank's Review

Written on: 06/02/2007

Thank you Helen, if I may say so myself, I think it deserved the Expert Status!!!
<br/>
<br/>Eddie Murphy is main reason to go watch this however his screen time is fairly limited compared to other characters. The music is awesome too. Hope you enjoy it!!

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