Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm A Rent-head!

Oh, Gosh! I'm A Rent Head!

I can't believe I haven't written about RENT yet!
I love that show so much, you know. The songs, the plot, the love, and the life.

Let's start with the easiest one: The Plot.
I like it so much that the plot is simple but not boring. There were a group of Bohemians (I don't care how people describe bohemian, but for me, they are 'free people'). First, Mark, the film maker, who's Roger (songwriter)'s roomate. Mark's an ex-boyfriend to Maureen, who's a performer, who's now Joanne (a lawyer)'s girlfriend. And then there's Benny who's Mark, Roger, Colins, and Maureen's ex-roomate. And there's Mimi, 19-year-old stripper who's Mark and Roger's neighbour and who has the thing with Roger. Then Tom Colins, which is by far my favorite character besides Maureen and Joanne, he's also an ex-roomate. He met Angel (a drag queen) on the street, who's also Mimi's friend and they're both with HIV, and they fall in love. The plot provides each character with fair time for us to know them pretty well. If I'm asked who's the main character in this movie, I'm really sorry, I don't know. For my eyes, all of them are the main characters. Each of them has their own importance, just like each of the people in the world.

The Love & The Life
Rent is so rich with love! There are straight love story (Roger & Mimi), bisexual love story (Mark and Maureen), gay love story (Colins and Angel), and even lesbian love story (Maureen and Joanne). Very well done! They're all Bohemians, they don't judge themselves and others. "It's between God and me." How true. They are as poor as a mouse, of course except Joanne, they are with HIV, they are losers to the eyes of the world, but they are wonderful people for me. They are rich, in fact, for they have friends and they have love, and they have freedom. Like Angel. When Mimi met her for the first time, she was being harassed by some guys, and she said, "I'm more of a man than you'll ever be, and more of a woman than you'll ever get." Though her body's getting worse by the AIDS, her spirit never dies. And her spirit doesn't stop in her own self, it has sproud among the gang in the end. And Maureen, she does seem like the type who's so confident with her own skin (which she does) and she flirts with everybody. Everybody wants her, boys and girls alike. That makes Joanne who's the type-A gal jealous and worried sick. But as you can see in the end, when they're watching Mark's film, as she sings 'I die without you', she clutches Joanne's arm... and the expression says silently that she does love her very much, and that Joanne's the one and only for her, no matter with whom she flirts. The most wonderful character for me is Angel, after all.

Now the best part of the show: The Songs.
From the time when the first chorus kicked in, I was glued to my seat. "Seasons of Love"

525600 minutes, 525000 moments so dear
525600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In 525600 minutes,
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love
525600 minutes, 525600 journeys to plan
525600 minutes, how do you measure a life of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned?
Or in times that he cried?
In bridges he burned?
Or the way that she died?
It's time now, to sing out, though the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
Measure in love
Seasons of love

Then the second, upbeat song "Rent" played. I like the fire thing. It has kind of 'feeling' in it.
The third song is "You'll See". Both Rent and You'll See don't leave much feel in my ear, though. Just... 'it was good'.
And then we see Angel playing rhythm on a drum. Though it's only rhythm, ow, it was wonderful. I like it so much.
The next song to be played is "One Song Glory". It's a sad, sad song. And still, it doesn't have its way to my heart the first time I heard it.
Now, here is the first song which gave me an inkling that probably, I would love this movie, anyway: "Light My Candle". It's a light, flirty, playful song. And it's goooood. Half a room in my heart for that song.
The first time I heard "Today For You" it didn't impress me much, but I like that song, too. But now I like it much better.
Here, here! This is the first song I really love! From the first time I heard it I already loved it. The bittersweet "Tango Maureen". I love Joanne's voice and I like how her voice mixed with that of Mark's. And of course, I enjoyed the tango. Oh, yeah, I love a line of that song, "Might as well, dance a tango to hell, at least I have tangoed at all." Isn't that always like that with something called 'love'?
Then the "No Day But Today" song! Owwwwww, I love that song! The first time it's played is in the Life Support.

There's only us, there's only this
Forget regret
Or life is your to miss
No other road, no other way
No day but today

How true! The lyrics struck me hard and it stays with me, and it will be in my heart everytime I start to take granted.
Then the REALLY flirty "Out Tonight", mixed with harsh "Another Day" and again, "No Day But Today". Wow. Wonderful. "There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last." "I can't control my destiny, I trust my soul. My only goal is just to be."

There's only now, there's only here
Give in to love, or live in fear
No other path, no other way
No day but today

Then the "Will I" song. This song is simple, but touch my heart in the perfect place, as I think about people who's suffering from AIDS singing this song. But now I realize, this song fits more than to people with AIDS. Everyone has their own share of fear, that they will left alone and no one will care. When I made mistake last week and thought that I probably outted myself mistakenly, I sang this song repeatly again and again.

Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care?
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?

Aah, the wishful thought of "Santa Fe"! Ow, I'm like that, too, plus minus, for I do dream of opening up a restaurant. Not in Santa Fe, but who knows? Haha.
Now THIS is my favorite song in the movie. "I'll Cover You". Romantic, wishful, playful. And I love the way Colins and Angel sing it. Soooo well-matched of voice as well as performance! And it's so romantic also because the song ends with a kiss. Yippie.

Live in my house, I'll be your shelter
Just pay me back with one thousand kisses
Be my lover, I'll cover you
Open your door, I'll be your tenant
Don't got much baggage
to lay at your feet
But sweet kisses I've got to spare
I'll be there and I'll cover you
I think they meant it
when they said you can't buy love
Now I know you can rent it
a new lease you are, my love
on life, be my life
Just slip me on, I'll be your blanket
Wherever, whatever, I'll be your coat
You'll be my king and I'll be your castle
No, you'll be my queen, and I'll be your moat
I've longed to discover something as true as this is
So with a thousand sweet kisses
When you're cold and you're lonely
With a thousand sweet kisses,
You've got one nickel only
With a thousand sweet kisses,
When you're worn out and tired
I'll cover you
when your heart has expired
oh, lover,
I'll cover you

Oh, then Maureen's show. "Over The Moon". First time I saw it, I went like, "What on earth is that???" It was weird. But now I enjoy it, too, though I don't love it much.
"La Vie Boheme" ROCKS!!!! Ow, this is a very very bohemian song! It's so free, with lyrics and with melody! It's simply the best! My second favorite after "I'll Cover You" for 'having-fun music'. "To being an us for once instead of a them." "It's between God and me."
Sadly the happy boheme has to be cut for "I Should Tell You". It's a sweet song, too. But it just sets another tone. Thankfully, though, the tone sets back quickly. "Let he among us without sin be the first to condemn." Ow, the song blows my mind!
The next song is again, "Seasons of Love with different lyrics.
Then, welcome to Joanne's and Maureen's engagement party. So fancy. But the flirting Maureen and the jealous Joanne kicked in and they sang "Take Me or Leave Me". The song is funny, sexy, and though it's a break-up song, it's beautiful. "Women, what is it about them, can't live with them or without them." Frustating, huh? But it also proves that really, in fact, despite her over flirting side, Maureen really loves Joanne. She can have anyone she wants, but she chooses Joanne.
After that, things get so sad. "Without You" is the song for all the couples. Maureen and Joanne are both sad from the break up. Roger and Mimi break up too, coz Roger finds out that Benny and Mimi get together and they were lovers once. And Angel's in the hospital, with Colins by her side all the time. She dies.
All the gang are in the Angel's funeral. Colins sings "I'll Cover You" again in slow tone. It's so touching. I cried the first time I heard it. The song is mixed with "Sesons of Love" which made it even more graceful and touching and rich.
But outside the church, Roger vs Mimi and Maureen vs Joanne start to confront. Ow, "Goodbye, Love" hurts. "I'd be happy to die for a taste of what Angel had. Someone to live for, unafraid to say 'I love you'."You'll never share real love until you love yourself." Though it's a goodbye song for Roger and Mimi, Maureen and Joanne get back together after that song.
The upbeat "What You Own" is a realization song. "The film maker cannot see, the songwriter cannot hear. Yet I see Mimi everywhere, Angel's voice is in my ear." Funny, Mark the film maker can only hear Angel's voice while Roger the songwriter can only see Mimi's eyes. But in the end of the song finally, they can. "Angel, I see it, I see it in my film. Mimi, I hear you, I hear you, my song."
The next song is "I Should Tell You" mixed with "Another Day" and "Your Eyes", when Mimi is found dying and Roger sang to her.
And the end. The ending is as wonderful as the film. "No Day But Today" mixed with "Will I" and "Without You". This is where you'll see what this film is all about. It's so dramatically ended, too, as Angel be the last scene shown with the lyrics: "No day but today".
No day but today, indeed. So I'll make as many my friends as possible to watch this. Go RENT!

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