After reading the review for Dreamgirls [Dream Works
, December 20], I came away feeling as if the writer of the article didn't exactly see the film as I or millions other saw it.
For openers, I didn't feel that she lent enough credit to Eddie Murphy's performance in this film. The audience was able to see Murphy evolve as a serious dramatic actor before our very eyes, and that alone was enough to make the movie worth it. As far as Ms. Jennifer Hudson's performance, it was nothing short of a religious experience. I nearly stood up and screamed when she sang "And I Am Telling You." Her voice was as dynamic, if not more so, than the original song by Jennifer Holiday. I walked away feeling not only empathy for Effie, but a sense of disgust for those around her who failed to understand that in many ways Effie White was as much the tortured artist that Jimmy Early was.
And although the story really was more about Effie, Deena, Curtis and Jimmy, I felt that Lorell (played very well by Anika Noni Rose) was somewhat lost in all of these enormous personalities. She was dealing with her things, such as a morally bankrupt relationship with the married Jimmy, and having to play second fiddle to both Effie's ego and Deena's looks. I would have liked to have seen more in the way of her character.
As far as the production work itself, I felt that enough credit was not given to Bill Condon. I can imagine the mind that it takes to adapt a major Broadway work such as Dreamgirls into something as wonderful as what it eventually evolved into. Not only did he do it with all the beauty and magic that I know the original probably held, he revived a work of art that would have otherwise been completely lost on present generations.
All in all, I did enjoy most of your review. I just wish it would have been looked at from the humanity aspect that each of the individuals who contributed to it put forth. I agree that the naive aspiring entertainer bit has been done to death, but Rose, Hudson and Knowles brought to the concept something special, something that can't be put into words. And for that, I not only applaud them their effort, but I want to see more of Hudson and Rose in future roles. Knowles, I am sad to say, is somewhat overexposed and it would be nice to miss her for a while. When new material comes out, I will once again be excited about her.
I wanted to say that I have read Scene for years. I am a native Clevelander who moved away from the city about five years ago. I still visit many area-based websites, including this one, so that I am still aware of the comings and goings of my hometown. In that respect, I say keep up the good work. For many years, your paper has been informative, entertaining and a great way to pass some free time. Keep it going.
Ebony M. Frier