What not to look out for: Originality
Ali (Cristina) is a small town waitress from Iowa who quits her job and comes to LA to follow her dreams. Her prayers are answered when she walks into The Burlesque Lounge, run by Tess (Cher) and Shaun (Stanley Tucci). An old school club with Broadway style razzle-dazzle and raunchy costumes. Ali starts waitressing at this club and learns every routine simply by observing. She gets her big break when one pregnant dancer needs to be replaced.
The problem however is that we have seen the same small-town-girl-with-big-talent-and-city-dreams story far too often. Its done to death. But we don’t mind, as long as it’s done well. That’s exactly the problem with “Burlesque”. It may have used a formula, but you need to fill that outline with a solid storyline. Musicals as a genre work not just because of their sparkling musical numbers, but because they are spun around a captivating storyline and screenplay (“Chicago” for example). “Burlesque” definitely had the talented star cast, but unfortunately they didn’t have the help of a well written and directed script.
Even with a scanty storyline, Christina Aguilera brings some of that visual and vocal spark that we see in her music videos and stage shows. But even so, Cher and Stanley Tucci remain the 2 most comfortably believable characters on screen. Some of the numbers are spectacular in their choreography and performance (especially Cher’s single and Christina’s last stage act). But despite that the story is far too cliché d and drab to tie these musical pieces together.
Verdict: Fans of Christina’s powerful voice and Cher’s spellbinding vocals have much to rejoice about. But there’s nothing much in it for the rest.