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Directed by: Rob Marshall
Written by:
Bill Condon (screenplay),
Maurine Dallas Watkins (play), Bob Fosse (musical), Fred Ebb (musical) 
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: musical
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something: artsy-fartsy
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: ½/5 

Plot synopsis At a nightclub in 1920s Chicago, pretty blonde Roxie Hart, an aspiring cabaret singer, watches her idol Velma Kelly carted away off-stage by the police for the double murder of Velma's husband and sister. But in this scandal-loving, murder-obsessed, sinfully glamorous city, any publicity is good publicity, even when it's the sort that lands a girl on death row. Velma's fame only grows once she lands behind bars, while Roxie continues to struggle to try and get her big break into show business. She thinks she's found her ticket in when she hooks up with a guy who claims to have some connections. But when Roxie learns her no-good boyfriend has been lying to her from the beginning — and has the nerve to dump her on top of it all — she reaches for her husband's gun and, shaking with fury, shoots him point-blank in the chest. Her sweet but dumb husband's initial attempts to cover for her fall flat, and the police arrest her. But with notoriety comes the fame Roxie's been yearning for her whole life, and Roxie finds herself catapulted into the spotlight at last. Roxie rapidly discovers that with her sweet face and shrewd ability to manipulate the press, the public can't get enough of her. Soon, with the help of smarmy hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn, Roxie's managed to steal all the headlines and attention away from Velma, who's not at all pleased to find that all the eyes of Chicago are on a new girl now.

Review It's all my boy's fault. But I just can't watch musicals the way that I used to, enjoying the cheesy, hammy, song-and-dance in all its over-the-top glory, because I'm constantly sneaking sideways peeks to see whether he's rolling his eyes at the sheer inanity of it all, or picking lint off his shirt in boredom. Renting Chicago was, of course, my idea. Although I'm not exactly the world's biggest fan of the genre as a whole, I'd heard so many great things about the Oscar-winner, even from friends who don't usually like mainstream movies, that I couldn't resist grabbing it off the video store shelf, despite the risk of having to ignore my husband's sighs and snickers throughout the duration. So it's actually a big, big thumbs up to the movie that the boy's final verdict was, "Yeah, I guess that was a good movie." Far less surprising is the fact that I adored it. The costumes are glittery and gorgeous, the sets look stunning, and the song-and-dance extravaganzas are irresistibly catchy and energetic — all of which, alone, would make for a fine musical production. But Chicago really works as a movie too; the dialogue is beautifully integrated with the music and dance, cleverly intercut so that everything works together to advance the plot. And the casting is superb, from stars Zeta-Jones and Zellweger as the sultry has-been star and the ambitious wannabe, respectively, to supporting actors John C. Reilly as Roxie's poor cuckold husband, and a very sexy Queen Latifah as prison warden Mama. Watching Chicago, you never have to suspend your disbelief over how stupid it is for everyone to suddenly break into song. Instead, you find yourself so entranced that you want to belt out a tune right along with the characters. —reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun

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