Sparkle (2012) Film Review
I just watched the 2012 remake of the 1976 film Sparkle tonight and I felt entertained by the music, singing, acting, and costumes. So I give it a thumb and a half up.
Why not two thumbs up? The story. I never saw the original version, so I had nothing to compare it to. But a number of incongruities confused me and distracted my thoughts with questions the writer could have prevented had it done a better job. Nevertheless, I consider it worth sitting through because of the display of so much talent.
The story, set in 1968 Detroit, deals with a mulatto mother (whitney Houston) and three mulatto daughters in their 20’s, all of whom had marvelous talent for singing and moving on stage. Three men get attracted to them. They struggle to become famous and earn good money, but the older sister becomes drug addicted and another kills the older sister’s abusive boyfriend by accident. In the end the most talented all around sister goes on her own to a record company, gives a knockout stage performance, and the record producer signs her to a contract.
For most of the film the mother acts sullen and demands that the sisters go to church, get an education, and stay away from music. She hinted that her sketchy past in the music business had taught her through some unmentioned tragedy to stay away. That distracted me , and I never learned what had happened to her. But in the end she relented and attended the knockout performance and cheered her daughter on.
Just before the knockout performance scenes, the mother finally sang a spiritual song, beautifully of course. I had yearned for it the whole film but didn’t expect it because she behaved so gumpy for so long for no apparent reason.
I did not fully understand the relationships of the men to the sisters. That distracted me. I had no idea how the mother could afford to live in such a nice house and support the sisters with no visible income or support from anyone. That seemed extremely atypical and distracting.
This was Whitney Houston’s last film.
Rent and watch the film. You’ll probably like it.
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