Pre – Rent-movie-addition, there was (and still is) Rent Broadway addition. I know every word to the musical, but by no means fully understood them when I initially learned them. My sister was a fan, and I usually stole the soundtrack from her room to sing, dance and listen to it. I was 12 at the time, and found myself asking my sister, “Why is Roger so mad?” and not understanding her answer of “He has AIDS and his girlfriend just died”. But to me…he had a new girl…so he should have been okay, like I said…I in no way understood. Some of the lyrics I knew were taboo to a lot of people, but again, I didn’t know why. I let the music slip away from me for a while, only coming back to the musical by expressing my revulsion to it becoming a pop culture phenomenon. However tonight, I gave in.
This year Rent the musical is celebrating its 10th year on stage, and the movie has just recently come out on video. As a Broadway production it immediately caught the attention of the critics and the Broadway loving group. The movie is now drawing in extreme success in that awkward age of life from 15 – 26, and really once you see it there isn’t a question as to why.
Rent celebrates diversity, love and friendships, while showing the extreme power of poverty, drugs and having a voice. In this age of media produced lies and presold opinions it offers a gate way to our age of AIDS, lesbians and corporate America. The movie captures all of this; it gives a look into the lower rung New York crowd and culture, and personalizes it, showing its absolute beauty, but overwhelming chaos. (Also reminding me of why I wanted to live in New York so badly.)
The messages are powerful, along with the characters. There is ‘no day but today’ and living life as if ‘this moment was the last’ makes so much sense when you’re watching these multicultural, multisexual, homeless and sick young adults. Really making you wonder…why doesn’t everyone live like that? I don’t mean giving up our lives to go and be reckless…but I mean being happy and acting in the moment sometimes. I was extremely pleased with the movie, and after wards shook my head at myself, because now I love that it has become big in pop culture. It promotes so many values that more people should understand. It exposes the truth behind a constructed beautiful world everyone has made to block out the bad.
It was gorgeous and captivating. I cried so hard, laughed and sang real loud. I respected each character, and admire that they were being who they are, and not hiding underneath anything. Tres bien.