Cabaret

2+

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“Cabaret” is set in 1931, Berlin, with the story revolving around a woman who is an American cabaret singer called Sally Bowles (played by Liza Minelli). In spite of having a drinking problem, Sally dreams of fame and riches, oblivious to the steadily growing tensions there in pre-Nazi Germany.

She meets a man called Brian Roberts, who is an English academic trying to get his Ph.D. A friendship between the two soon ensues, which progresses into an affair—in spite of Brian struggling with his sexuality. It is when the wealthy Maximillian comes into the picture that a complicated love triangle forms during the rise of the Nazi party…

The director Bob Fosse did an outstanding job with the film “Cabaret,” managing to create a work of art that is haunting and dark, full of complex characters with questionable morals set against the background of the third Reich.

Some might argue that a musical was not the way to go for a movie with as serious of undertones as “Cabaret”—however, the majority of viewers agree that this film just would not be the same if it were not a musical.

Fosse’s talent for editing is clearly seen throughout the film, with the musical pieces brilliantly mirroring the moods that the movie goes through—cheerfulness, and then despair and so on.

One thing that absolutely cannot be questioned is that Liza Minelli was the true star of this film—in spite of how well the other actors performed, it was her performance that made this film the success that it was. Her vocal skills excellent, and her acting phenomenal, she managed to portray a layered and complicated character that manages to be free spirited, realistic and passionate and draws you in more and more as the film progresses.

Another highly memorable and yet very surprising aspect of “Cabaret” is the performance of the musical number called “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” which gives the listener chills while they listen. Sung by a Hitler youth, this song illustrates an accurate picture of what Nazism really looked like.

A reason why this movie is so highly rated worldwide is that of the plethora of emotions that it manages to incite. While watching this film, the viewer is overcome with a mixture of compassion, fear, surprise and absolute disgust, at times, but it is this ability to provoke so many feelings all at once that is a true sign of a great movie.

Overall, for people that are fans of “feel-good” movies that remain cheerful throughout, they may not be interested in “Cabaret.” However, for anyone that is intrigued by dark, shockingly realistic seeming and complex films that have you feeling everything there is to feel and thinking about things you wouldn’t normally think about, then “Cabaret” is an absolute must watch.

A haunting plotline that is stunningly executed by a talented caste—the star of which is Liza Minelli, undoubtedly—“Cabaret” is a thought-provoking watch that deserves every little bit of the praise that is has received.

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