Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman Whoop It Up In This Fun Musical

The Prom(Netflix)

Starring  : Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Kerry Washington, Jo Ellen Pellman.

Directed  by  Ryan Murphy

Rating: *** ½

I’d wade through waist-deep slush to  see a dream cast like this. Luckily I had to do no such thing, as The Prom , with  all  its glorious  pomp and  surrender, arrived at my doorstep. A full-blown musical where everyone speaks in shrill excitement and  every frame is punctuated  by  an exclamation, this is an  oldfashioned  musical with a  new-age twist.

And the cast  helmed by  the  one-and-only Meryl Streep digs its high heels deep into the funscape about  bunch  of  on-the-skids  Broadway stars who  look  for  a ‘cause’ to ignite their flickering career. The  ‘cause’they choose is  Emma(Jo Ellen Pellman) a fresh-faced  dewy-eyes  highschool ingenue ina  small town  who is not   allowed to  participate  in her school prom  when her date turns out to be   a girl.

Denial of  civil rights , scream the liberals. Streep and  gang descend  on the town, to  further their own cause, but end  up fighting a genuine battle for  Emma’s freedom to  be who she is  without her  school peers reminding her of who she  ought to be.

It’s not a frighteningly  bold  film on  acceptance and  tolerance. But it has a  genuine  agenda   in its plot.Unlike Streep’s character who  only wants to come back into the limelight, director Ryan Murphy and his team whip a  fleet  of  sincere feelings  for  their chosen cause through the frothy fun and dance formula that is unleashed with a disarming gusto.

As  I watched Ms Streep sing and dance on screen with such magical  verve, I wondered,  not for the  first time, is there’s anything she can’t do.  She has talkshow host James Corden for company in most of her scenes. Corden is  delightfully droll as a gay Broadway actor with serious Mommy issues that get magically resolved before THE END.

But of course!  This is the magical mystical  melodious  mutating world  of  musical ‘cheers’ .Meryl with a cast that needs to express itself in effervescent  colloquialisms are all so  reassuringly in-sync with the confectionery compulsions of this   feelgood  hip-and-lip kisser. They  are so  effective that  you forget this  world  they inhabit is  just a bubble ready to burst. And  it does! The  outburst  of song and dance is simply irresistible. You end up cheering for  Emma and her partner (Ariana DeBose) not only because you support  gay rights  but because you support the  right to happiness, no matter what  the sexual  preference.

Any  quibble? Yes,my hot favourite Nicole Kidman  seems strangely intimidated,participating in the singing and dancing  with her  mind somewhere else?.What was she  thinking? The comparisons with Meryl Streep?

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