Left justifiably in the shadows

Adrian Wan
Adrian Wan |

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By Adrian Wan

Loosely based on the 80s classic musical film of the same name, Fame is a fictional account of the hopes and dreams of students at New York's High School of Performing Arts. Classmates study various aspects of performance, from dance to songwriting to acting, all hoping for the chance to become stars.

Almost without exception, the characters are flat and unconvincing. Some of the more prominent ones include music student Denise Dupree (Naturi Naughton, who sings the Oscar-nominated Out Here on My Own), Malik Washburn and Jenny Garrison (Collins Pennie and Kay Panabaker) who wish to be drama stars, and Marco Ramone (Asher Book) whose cute looks and dreamy vocals are likely to go down well with tween girls.

These are just a few of at least a dozen students whose four years at the school are examined in the film, so the movie feels like it's lacking focus. It's more like a scrappy collection of short, shallow scenes all lumped together. Although there are several impressive standalone scenes, the act of linking them together loses the magic. It's perhaps the result of wanting to include too much, but in the end having very little to offer.

The heart and soul of the original Fame - that is its vibrancy, gritty reality, superb dance moves and wonderful soundtrack - are clearly missing in this remake. The good thing is it is a DVD so you can just press stop when it all gets too much.

YP rating: 2/5