Reaction and Analysis on Film and Stage Version of "Rent"

Topics: Art, Rent, History of painting Pages: 14 (5050 words) Published: March 8, 2010

Rent  is a 2005 American film adaptation of the Broadway musical, which was based on Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical. The movie depicts the lives of several Bohemians and their struggles with sexuality, cross-dressing, drugs, life under the shadow of AIDS, and paying their rent. It takes place in the East Village of New York City in the late 1980s.

After an introduction with the cast singing "Seasons of Love," the film opens with apartment tenants expressing their anger with suddenly being asked to pay rent which had previously been waived by the landlord. Collins, a former roommate of Mark's and friend to both Mark and Roger, returns from out of town and is attacked by three men and left for dead in an alley ("Rent"). Benny, the landlord and former roommate of Mark and Collins, who has married into a wealthy family, offers to give Mark and Roger free rent again if they can convince Maureen to stop her protest. The protest is to take place at Maureen's performance space which Benny is planning to to turn into a cyber-cafe

Angel Dumott Schunard, who is an AIDS-positive drag queen drummer, meets Collins, who is also AIDS-positive, in the alley. We learn that these two characters are romantically interested in each other. Later that night, Roger mourns the loss of his girlfriend April, who committed suicide after learning she had HIV, and sings of his desire to write one lasting song before his own death from HIV Mimi, a night club dancer addicted to heroin, enters Roger's apartment and flirts with him

The next morning, Roger and Mark meet Angel, who performs a song-and-dance number for them Angel invites them to join him and Collins at a meeting at a local community center. Roger declines but Mark accepts, telling them he will be there after he goes to help Maureen, who had called and asked for help with a technical problem. Mark goes to help Maureen, only to meet Joanne Jefferson, Maureen's new lover. They talk about Maureen's "hobby" of cheating He then proceeds to the Life Support Meeting. While there, Mark asks permission from the Support group members to film them for his new documentary. A man in the group talks about how he finds it hard to accept what they teach in the group, "but I try to open up to what I don't know, because reason says I should have died 3 years ago" Forward to a night club, with Mimi performing a song and dance routine, singing of her desire to go out and have a good time before her life ends ("Out Tonight"). She barges into Roger's apartment, where he gets angry at her

The next day, Mark asks Roger if he wants to go to the Support group meeting with him, but Roger declines. At the meeting, the people began to question, "Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care? Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?" During this, Roger joins the group, much to Angel's, Collins', and Mark's joy. .

Maureen's protest happens later that night Benny has put the police on standby. This proves to be a bad mistake on his part. There is a riot, which causes Maureen to get even angrier at him. That night at the Life Cafe, everyone meets up. Mark reveals that he got the riot on film and the show Buzzline wants to put it on their show. Benny tells everyone that he is sorry and that the reason his wife wasn't there was that there was a death in the family. It turns out to be his dog, who Angel caused to jump off their twenty-third-story apartment, not knowing it was his. They then perform "La Vie Bohème" and in the middle, Roger and Mimi perform their own song outside expressing their love for each other Roger finds out that Mimi is HIV-positive, and Mimi already knows that Roger is too.

The gang celebrates the New Year together, with Mimi vowing to give up her drug habit and go back to school. However, they are locked out of their apartment, and Angel breaks the padlock with a garbage can. They enter, only to find that all of their things are gone....
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