Welcome to the world of Burlesque which, while not as spectacular as Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, is fun while it lasts. The film takes time-honoured tropes (Bollywood loves them too) of the musical and gives them a light millennial coating.
Ali is a talented girl from Iowa who comes to the city of dreams, Los Angeles, to find her destiny. After many hard knocks, one evening, her eyes light upon this magical theatre, The Burlesque Lounge. The moment she walks through the door and sees the spectacular acts, she decides this is the place for her.
It is easier said than done as she has to convince the tough-as-nails owner, Tess, and contend with the talented but mercurial Nikki, the star of the show. Ali finds a friend in the bartender, Jack, and slowly but surely realises her dream. With fame and fortune come attendant problems including jealousy and the unwanted attention of certified smarmy types. All comes right in the end with a big, glitzy bang and a glittering climax song.
Brought up as we are on a steady diet of song and dance sequences in our cinema, we don't think twice about heroine bursting into song to express gladness or sadness. So while Burlesque might not seem exotic to our eyes, this film is captivating enough if you are not particularly demanding.
The cast is energetic and lovely. Christina Aguilera has presence and a voice and works fine as Ali. Cher is all glimmer and glitter as Tess, while Stanley Tucci, the patron saint of chick flicks, is rock solid as the sensitive stage manager, Sean.
Burlesque does not play favourites and the camera lingers lovingly on Aguilera's divine body as much as it lingers on McSteamy Cam Gigandet (Jack) who even obliges with a cute striptease in flaming red pajamas his mother bought him (awwww…) and a cookie tin.
Burlesque is that ultimate time pass film — handsomely mounted, easy-on-the-eyes cast and some cool choreography.
Director: Steve Antin
Cast: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Cam Gigandet, Eric Dane, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Bell, Peter Gallagher
Storyline: Ali comes from the boondocks to LA to make it big
Bottomline: Energetic choreography and a good-looking cast contribute to a pleasant viewing experience
Keywords: Burlesque film review