There are some big stars in ‘Burlesque’: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough (‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Footloose’), Stanley Tucci, Diana Agron (‘Glee’), Alan Cumming. The main protagonist, Ali, played by Christina Aguilera, leaves her hometown to pursue a life in singing in Hollywood, LA. She goes from working at a little café to the big city itself, she finds herself walking into a Burlesque lounge and quickly becomes determined to be one of the women up on stage. The women lip-sync and dance to the music as entertainment for the audience, the club celebrates the ability of dance and performance.
I think that everyone will agree that Christina Aguilera in a singing performance is always outstanding. Her voice is phenomenal, I would even go as far to say that she is one of the best female singers of all time, definitely in the top ten! Therefore, Aguilera in a musical is a match made in heaven, when she’s singing, she cannot be faulted. It’s just a shame when her character isn’t the best on screen. Throughout performances, the audience are captivated by her voice, but Ali as a character was a miss for me. I understand she is supposed to represent an extremely driven character, she didn’t travel all the way to Hollywood to fail and she would do anything to showcase her talents on stage and she does get there pretty rapidly. But along the way, she became a bit annoying to watch. She would do anything to get her own way, which was too much on the extreme side for me. Her character didn’t seem to have the same flow throughout the film, one minute she’d be flirty, then angry with the same person flirting back, but then annoyed when he wasn’t. Her whole character seemed to go up and down constantly which didn’t make much sense to me.
Behind the curtain of the Burlesque club is the owner trying to hold the entire show together. This character, Tess, is played by Cher. I’m sorry to say, I’m not a big fan of Cher. Yes, she’s got some brilliant tunes, such as ‘Believe’ and ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, which will always be in my daily playlist. But with Cher on screen, I couldn’t connect to her emotionally, and just found that her acting really wasn’t that great. The next star is Kristen Bell, who I do love as an actress. Differing from her usually blonde romantic girly girl or romcom presence, Kristen Bell played the snidey, bitter performer who always loves the centre of attention and gets a little irritated when the spotlight moves away from her. Kristen Bell plays the character amazingly well and even though it was weird to see her in such a different light, she was not a mistake to have in this film at all! Then there’s Stanley Tucci who kind of plays Tess’ sidekick, although he is so much more than that. Sean (Tucci) is a brilliant character of honesty and kindness and a little comedy – he’s such an enjoyment to have on screen. Finally, Julianne Hough was an excellent choice, again, to have on screen. All of her performances are brilliant as we all know her dancing shows no faults.
The overall plot of the film is a little weak. The romance element of the film didn’t even bring the ‘fluttery heart sensation’ – I didn’t care if they ended up together or not, and usually I’m a big fan of a soppy romcom. There was also a weird twinge to the colour of the film, it felt very saturated to watch. I didn’t hate the film, there are positives and negatives. The performances are good and as I said Christina Aguilera singing is always mesmerising. It’s not a film to be remembered forever… Which is a shame as with such big stars in it, it could have been a hugely successful film.