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Rent [UMD Mini for PSP]  [US Import]
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Rent, the show that in 1996 gave voice to a Broadway generation, has finally become an energetic, passionate, and touching movie musical. Based loosely on Puccini's La Bohème, it focuses on the year in the life of a group of friends in New York's East Village--"bohemians" who live carefree lives of art, music, sex, and drugs. Well, carefree until Mark, an aspiring filmmaker (Anthony Rapp), and Roger, an aspiring songwriter (Adam Pascal), find out they owe a year's rent to Benny (Taye Diggs), a former friend who had promised them free residence when he married the landlord's daughter. Roger has also attracted the attention of his downstairs neighbor, Mimi (Rosario Dawson), while Mark's former girlfriend, Maureen (Idina Menzel), has found a new romance in a lawyer named Joanne (Tracie Thoms). Philosophy professor Tom (Jesse L. Martin) finds his soul mate in drag queen Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia). But because this is the late-'80s, the threat of AIDS is always present.
The remarkable thing about Rent the movie is that nearly 10 years after the show debuted on Broadway, six of the eight principals return in the roles they originated. They're a bit older than would be ideal for their characters, but they do have the advantage of having learned the show directly from creator Jonathan Larson (who died of an aortic aneurysm while the show was in previews), plus they started young--we're not exactly talking Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford here. Alongside a polished performance like Rapp's--sometimes observer-commentator, sometimes participant in two of the score's showstoppers, "The Tango Maureen" and "La Vie Boheme"--the two new additions (Thoms in place of Fredi Walker, Dawson in place of the edgier Daphne Rubin-Vega) slip comfortably into the ensemble; the pivotal Dawson makes a seductive case as Mimi when she tempts Roger in the mesmerizing "Light My Candle" or burns up the stage of the Catscratch Club in "Out Tonight." Moviegoers who have an aversion to people who break into song while walking down the street probably won't have their minds changed by Rent (even if they are singing rock songs), and the gritty subject matter and lack of big-name stars make it unlikely to cross over to general audiences the way Chicago did. But fans of musicals should find "Seasons of Love" as stirring as ever, and the show's passionate admirers--the "Rentheads"--probably couldn't have wished for a more sympathetic director than Rent fan Chris Columbus, or a more faithful representation of the show they love. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to the DVD edition.
A modern spin on the opera La Boheme, Rent tells the story of eight friends dealing with life and love in Manhattan's Alphabet City in 1989. Director Christopher Columbus (Mrs Doubtfire, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) adapts the hit Broadway musical of the same name to the big screen. Wannabe filmmaker Mark (Anthony Rapp) and singer/songwriter Roger (Adam Pascal) are facing eviction at the hands of their former roommate and current landlord, Benny (Taye Diggs). Benny has married rich, moved out of the neighbourhood, and wants to build a state-of-the-art studio where the local tent city stands. Their downstairs neighbour, vivacious Mimi (Rosario Dawson)--who strips at a local club to feed her heroin habit--takes a shine to Roger, a self-imposed recluse and former junkie whose last girlfriend died of AIDS. Their friend Collins (Jesse L. Martin) returns to town and quickly falls for Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia), a glamorous, gracious, HIV positive transvestite. Finally, there is Maureen (Idina Menzel), a performance artist who is planning a protest against Bennys plans and has dumped Mark for cerebral Joanne (Tracie Thoms), a lawyer. Over the course of a year, the friends face poverty, drug addiction, break-ups, reconciliations, eviction, and AIDS. Despite these challenges, they find support, hope, and acceptance in each other, all the while embracing the bohemian lifestyle that was so much a part of the Lower East Side. Newcomers Dawson and Thoms mix seamlessly with the original cast members, and Columbus introduces some interesting staging locations. With a concept, music, and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson, Rent is an exuberant rock and roll musical with the underlying message that love can prevail despite all odds and that, ultimately, there really is no day but today. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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14 June 2017
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Arguably the film is slightly easier to follow the plot in than the film of the Broadway show is. Try watching this first if you are new to RENT as I was. It IS a great show but VERY American and you might need to see it more than once to get all of the story. The music is first class! AOKR
4 September 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Wonderful film adaptation of a truly brilliant musical, helped massively by the fact that the majority of the cast were part of the original broadway cast and have been with the show from the very beginning. For anyone who enjoys this, I would also recommend the live recording of the show.
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Most recent customer reviews
Love this film. Saw it on stage in Liverpool over 10 years ago. Cry every time I watch it.
Rent has kind of become a sacred cow of the musical theatre world since it first appeared; the Hair or Hamilton of its day.Read more
It's OK, but not as brilliant as it could be! Performances more than over the top in some instances.