So, let it be known that I realized a couple of years ago that I don’t really like musicals. When I finally got to see a touring production of Phantom of the Opera in KC when I was in college, I was royally disappointed. I think that’s when I just started to say I don’t like musicals. I’ve mellowed a little because just a couple of years ago, Holly and I saw a touring production of Le Miserables at the Walton in Fayetteville and it was absolutely stunning. Anyway…
I checked out Rent from the library just to see what the hubbub was all about. Holly and I sat down to watch it only lasted about 15 or 20 minutes before we shut it off. Believe me when I say that I really shut off DVDs. I just the the music was kinda crappy and the story/characters were melodramatic and I just didn’t foresee it getting any better. I just didn’t dig it. Some might. I didn’t. But, that’s not what this blog is about.
At one point in the short bit that we watched, mom and dad call and leave a msg on the answering machine of one of the main struggling-artist-in-the-big-city characters. I don’t remember it exactly and this is a very broad paraphrase but it basically said, “we miss you and we’re sad that you’re not here at home with us for christmas. we love you and hope you’re well. Please call us and let us know how you are sometime…” It didn’t even say anything like, “when are you going to get a real job? when are you going to settle down and get married? pregnant? grow up? be responsible?” It was just kind of a dorky msg like parental msgs of that sort seem to be but it still seemed sweet and honestly caring.
As soon as struggling-artist-in-the-big-city character plays back the msg, he deadpans to his room-mate something like, “sometimes this city really gets me down and i start thinking it would be nice to go home and then THEY call and I remember how horrible it is.”
huh? Why exactly are they so horrible? It just sounded to me like they cared.
I’m probably not telling this very well to illustrate my confusion.
But a more interesting question was what was the purpose of that clip of dialogue? Because it seemed obvious to Holly and me that the main character was thinking/reacting wrongly. At the same time, it seemed like the writer/director/performers/producers/whoever delivered the dialogue in all earnestness. Could it have been meant to evoke one sentiment and actually it evokes the exact complete opposite.
If you read this whole post, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. And I’m sorry that this is the post you had to read, because I know it doesn’t make as much sense as it does in my head.
January 18, 2007 at 2:37 pm
Well, I THINK I know what you’re saying… but in any case, good to have you back! 🙂 ~Missie Ray G
January 19, 2007 at 9:49 pm
maybe the answer can be found sometime after the first 15 minutes of the movie.c
January 25, 2007 at 4:18 pm
it’s lost in translation from the original rock opera that was staged for the theatre. Sometimes you cut things up to fit them on film. It never is explained in the film, just a “they don’t get me and wouldn’t understand how tough life is in the big city” feeling.
I watched this film just the other day for the first time. I can’t say it was redeemed in any way, but there is more to this phenomena when you watch the documentary on disc 2 and get a feel for the history surrounding the project. It make it incredibly more palatable.