Dreamgirls is the film adaptation of the 1981 award-winning Broadway musical of the same title. It’s story is set in the era of the development of American RnB, gospel, and jazz; and revolves around the lives of three (four actually, but the fourth was just a minor character) female performers.
At first, it would seem anything but a classical movie musical for it contained dialogues and the music was performed as part of the script (you know, they perform the songs on stage and when they converse, they don’t do it with a melody). But then, the elements of a movie musical began to unfold. And that is one feature of the movie that attracted me to it. An unfolding movie musical.
Due to its wide-spread promotion, it is common knowledge that Jennifer Hudson, an American Idol runner-up, did her film debut in this movie. And wow! Jennifer Hudson can really act! This recent Best Supporting Actress winner turned out a failure in AI (she should’ve been in the top three) but still, ended up with success. And it is satisfying to note that her first role is a major protagonist-turned-antagonist character, which is not common for most Hollywood stars. It is also worthy to note that Eddie Murphy sings and gives the stunning performance of his acting career. That’s why he won his very first acting award (Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture) at the recent 2007 Golden Globe Awards.
Dreamgirls is a wonderful entertainment piece for the family (although caution should be taken into account for its vulgar language and some un-child-friendly scenes). Its musical element is very much utilized in very artistic ways. The story is very good, and audiences can relate to many of the characters’ stereotypes–most especially for Hudson’s character (Effie White) who dreamed big, made big mistakes, and rose up once again. It has an amazing cinematography, great sequencing, and a very superb acting ensemble.