Movie News and Reviews – Dreamgirls

Despite being placed in the context of heavy matters of the 60’s and 70’s, the Vietnam War and racial segregation, Dreamgirls keeps an upbeat tune as it follows the path of three young women to stardom. A reenactment of the 1981 Broadway musical inspired by the famous trio The Supremes, the film itself is about Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), Deena Jones (Beyonc?e Knowles) and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose), and their big break into the world of fame. Dreamgirls has grit and glam, with just enough “all that glitters is not gold” appeal.

Beyonc?e Knowles shines as Deena Jones but perhaps too much. Casting a face so well known in the RnB industry as a lead singer of her own trio, Destiny’s Child, distracted from the storyline. When manager and record label exec, Curtis Taylor Junior (Jamie Foxx), chooses Deena to sing lead for the Dreams instead of heavy-set Effie, it provokes anger and frustration, but not to the same extent as it would had Deena been played by an unknown. Any teenybopper knows what Beyonc?e is capable of belting out, and this knowledge casts a shadow on Jennifer Hudson’s role as Effie. For this reason, Beyonc?e as Deena White was already a star from the beginning of the film, and it was Jennifer who needed to prove herself.

Prove herself she did. Her role is most definitely the most powerful, thought provoking and significant in the film. Effie uses her voice to regain control over the power that has been stripped from her, showing she is loud and has a presence that will not be ignored. Through her music, she expresses her anger over her rejection, and in doing so confirms she is capable of making it on her own.

Although some of the musical scenes seem a bit forced, fitting awkwardly into the rest of the script. The songs are such hits though that this can be overlooked. It is another stellar performance by Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy is a natural as the smooth-talking, heartbreaker James “Thunder” Early. The film is relatable to all, the music is worth downloading later onto iTunes, and the sets and costumes make everyone want to be the star.