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22 July 2011

Grease (1978) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 1#

Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Produced by: Robert Stigwood and Allan Carr
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Genre: Musical, Romance
Ah yes, Grease. Grease today is considered a ‘cult classic’. It’s a fun musical with some good songs and interesting characters, but I was expecting it to be better. I haven’t seen this one in several years so I thought I’d watch it again, but as I said my expectations were a little more. But even saying that, the film was very fun, had lots of bright characters and an okay story. I enjoyed some of the musical numbers, including the classic ‘Go Grease Lightning’ song. I also enjoyed the animated intro video with the song ‘Grease is the word’. Grease is a highly enjoyable music film with hints of comedy and lots of fun characters. Although Grease is an all singing and all dancing delight, it still feels kind of week in story.

The film opens with our two love birds, Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and Danny (John Travolta). They are on holiday together and have a romantic day at the beach and coincidentally Sandy moves to the school Danny goes to. They bump into each other one day, and Sandy makes friends with ‘The Pink Ladies’. Danny is in the ‘T-Birds’ group, and I guess this is a spoof on how there where stereotypical social groups like this during the 50’s, and there still is social groups, just a little different from this. From there onwards the film goes through a dance competition, a car race and a quest of love for Danny and Sandy.

Sandra, or Sandy, is from Australia and moves to America and coincidentally goes to the same school as Danny. When she arrives, The Pink Ladies get a hold of her, and give her a warm welcome. Not a welcoming backstabbing, bitchy one like in Mean Girls. Well she doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and is innocent as can be. At the end of the film there is a dramatic change as we see her changing for Danny, into the ultimate ‘Pink Lady’.

The T-Birds; made up of Danny Zuko, Putzie (Kelly Ward), Sonny and Doody (Barry Pearl). They are your classic black leather jacket wearing teenage social group of the 50’s and they are very hyper in this film. Together the T-birds sing the Grease Lightning song before the big race, and they are a whole lot of fun at the dance off at school. There is more to say about The Pink Ladies, and they are definitely more interesting than the T-Birds. They seem to have more character. The Pink Ladies is made up of 4 people. Rizzo (Stockard Channing) -The leader of the pack- , Frenchy, Jan and Marty. They all get friendly with Sandy and treat her to a night in with a sleepover, showing her the ropes and trying to turn her into a ‘Pink Lady’.

I’m not a big fan of the Grease soundtrack, but it was pretty enjoyable. My favourites where, Grease is the word, Go Grease Lightning and Look at me I’m Sandra Dee. The big dance off scene was also a whole lot of fun. Some of the dances are completely wild. I really thought the songs could have been better though, both vocally and instrument wise. For some reason I just didn't feel that musical chemistry as much as I would with musicals such as Chicago.

In the end Grease is an enjoyable Cult Classic musical, but not one of the best in my book. IT isn't no bob Fosse musical extravaganza but in the end it's an okay kind of musical. It's fun, has vibrant colours and has reasonably good music. With it's eccentric acting and a story of two orth lovers in a cliche kind of story Grease is a film watching, but maybe only once.

My Rating: 7/10

4 comments:

  1. Grease was the last really good musical prior to Chicago coming out. Music videos replaces musicals and it wasn't until those stopped being shown that musicals made a comeback.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. This is an okay film, decent fluffy entertainment with some catchy tunes and some decent performances but nowhere near the masterpiece everyone claims it to be. To me, it has a sloppy narrative and no real antagonist, and those were just too problematic for me. Anyway, excellent review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those were my problems with it too. Thanks a lot for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  4. timothy durbin3 July 2012 at 06:41

    yeah i saw it recently and thought it wasn't that grand of a film. Good review though.

    ReplyDelete

 

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