Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Creative Musical

I found IDLEWILD to be a very rousing and unique musical. Set in the South during the Prohibition Era, it focuses on two men who are former childhood friends. One, the high-living Rooster (Antwan Patton) manages and performs in a speakeasy; the other, a quiet fellow named Percival (Andre Benjamin) plays the piano there at night, but during the day he is a mortician working for his very domineering father (Ben Vereen). However, my top performance award here goes to Terrence Howard as Trumpy, a gangster who simply oozes evil in every scene.

IDLEWILD has its own special look and combines contemporary hip-hop with music and styles of the 1930s. The dance numbers are so exuberant they almost jump off the screen. Sorry to say, though, some of the songs are not too memorable, and an over-the-top performance by a particular character becomes extremely annoying early on, but he soon gets his comeuppance, so this is a minor problem.

One of the surprises in IDLEWILD involves whimsical animation you would not expect to see in a movie like this, but it is really quite delightful. Musical notes come to life and scamper across song sheets, a cartoon of a rooster on a whiskey flask heckles its owner, and so forth.

I would be remiss not to mention that the two leads in this film are members of the hip-hop duo called OutKast, and that director Bryan Barber has directed some of their music videos. IDLEWILD definitely proves all three men know their way around a feature musical.


  • I read today where they are going to make the film Hifidelity into a musical, if you remember it starred John Cusacka dn jack Black on the screen. That should be interesting. And after considering it for a while I now agree that The Devil Wears Prada should have been a musicial as well.

    By Blogger Chris Mansel, At 11:45 PM  

  • Hi, Chris!

    Thanks for the tip about Hifidelity. I think it would be even better as a musical -- but, hey, you know I'm such a fan of movie musicals.

    Good point about Devil Wears Prada. I also believe it should have been a musical.

    By Blogger Betty Jo, At 1:24 PM  

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