Saturday, September 11, 2004

Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance?

I just watched the trailer for the aboved mentioned film, starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. It seems like a really good movie, but will I spend $8.50 to watch the film in cinema?

Shall We Dance is a remake of the Japanese show of the same title, I can't remember who acted in it, but that show touched me deeply. The script was good; the acting was good; the dance was good; the soundtrack was good, so much that I can hardly find fault in it.

The story tells of a middle-aged, middle-class, white collar, mid-ranking average man who lives his days in a routine until one day while on the train home, he noticed a pretty, young girl dancing by a window. From there, this man developed a hugh curiosity of that dancing girl and would notice her everytime his train passes by that window. One day, he finally summed up courage to check what lay behind the window and the identity of the dancing girl. It turned out that behind that window was a dancing school, the girl was the instructor there and she taught ballroom dancing. In a mist of confusion, the man signed up for ballroom dancing lessons and learnt dancing without letting his wife know. There was actually nothing going on between the man and the girl, but well, most human thoughts are corrupted and we would always tend to think in a negative way.

In the Hollywood remake, Richard Gere plays the man and Jennifer Lopez plays the girl.

From the trailer I watched, it seemed that this remake was trying to follow as closely to the original as possible, but somehow, I didnt experience the feeling of being touched by the show, there was something seriously lacking in this remake.

Yes, Richard Gere's acting was stoic and I could feel his lonliness and craving for something new and different, Jennifer Lopez was as pretty as the original actress and I could feel her passion for ballroom dancing, so what went wrong?

After much thought, I think fault lies with Hollywood. As Shall We Dance is a show focusing mainly on ballroom dancing, it has a limited appeal among the audience. And we all know what a money-minded practical world it is like out there in America, so to widen the audience range, they pulled in big stars to act in the show and they will sell it as the show starring Richard Gere and JLo.

I am not condemning Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, to give them credit, they are good actors, but are they really suited to act in the show? The male protagonist in Shall We Dance is supposed to be a very very average Japanese middle-aged guy, so he should have equally average looks and my dear Richard Gere is just too stunning to take on that role convincingly. I mean who would believe that Richard Gere is lonely?! As for Jennifer Lopez, she is a great dancer, but she doesnt have the body of a ballroom dancer. No offense to her body, its great, really attractive, but too curvy for a ballroom dancer. Or maybe its because the original actress looked like a ballet dancer that I think that Jennifer Lopez is too big to take on that role...

I havent got the chance to hear the soundtrack for this remake, and for this show, the soundtrack really plays a very important role in dertermining its success, so I shall not say it straight out if this show well-worthed the $8.50.

But if you have yet watched the original version, I would go all out and recommend this film to you. Not for Richard Gere, not for JLo, not for anything other than a really good script.

So, Shall We Dance?

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