A Chorus Line | Chicago Reader

A Chorus Line

As the last person in America who hasn't seen the play, I was crushed to find how completely this supposed breakthrough musical conforms to the standard Broadway encounter-group formula: a collection of characters, carefully but artificially varied according to age, sex, race, and background, are brought together on a more or less arbitrary premise; they spend a couple of hours confessing their innermost sufferings and begging the audience for sympathy; and when it's over, everyone feels improved. Still, if you know what you're getting in for, the film shouldn't disappoint. Richard Attenborough's direction achieves that balance of impersonality and brisk pacing we've come to recognize as “professionalism,” and he doesn't clog up the dancing with too many stylistic gimmicks. The cast, mostly composed of young unknowns, destroy the illusion of human variety by uniformly adopting the same showy, demonstrative acting style, but they do know how to move.

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3.8 out of 5

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