Chicago VS Burlesque

Both are cabaret style movies, both have strong vocals and dazzling choreography and both will leave an impression, but, if you put them up against each other is one stronger?



  • It has a strong plot from start to finish with the musical numbers fitting in naturally to the story narrative while giving insights to each character. There is definitely a strong stage presence about it and it delivers the showbiz and glamour you would expect from a cabaret and jazz inspired musical.
  • There’s a strong team effort. No character pulls focus or overshadows another, it’s nicely balanced.
  • The choreography and use of props is clever. Example, during the number Cell Block Tango the use of red silk scarves and one white scarf is a nice visual touch (blood vs innocence)


  • Renée’s frame is distractingly thin and there are costume choices that draw far too much attention to her bony shoulder blades and thin legs. Example, the silver dress she wears for the song Roxie washes her out. With her pale skin, thin frame and platinum blonde hair she would have been better off with a bold colour.
  • With the many fast-paced and entertaining numbers throughout the whole movie I was a tad indifferent to the final performance. It felt a little average compared to what we had already been treated to.



  • Christina Aguilera’s vocal range makes for a perfect fit for show tunes and power ballads *adds soundtrack to cart*. Bound To You and Welcome to Burlesque are perfect for this movie.
  •  Cher’s performance and acting presence is the icing on the cake.
  • The makeup and costumes are brilliant and work really well for the characters.
  • Kristen Bell plays the entitled diva so well and her scenes with Cher are strong. She is perhaps underused in this role.


  • The movie plot is really basic and seems to be worked around the musical numbers. Example; Cher’s solo ballad You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me feels awkwardly placed into the movie. They could have worked it in better.
  • During the opening scene when Ali makes the decision to leave Dwight’s bar and takes the money she is owed, Loretta makes the comment that Dwight will come after her… but this is never re-visited so it seems a little weak as motivation/back story for Ali’s big move to LA. Instead, she locks up the bar and randomly sings a song from the jukebox, which, while it is a great song, shows her talent far too early in the movie and adds absolutely nothing to the script.
  • At times it feels a little like it’s “The Christina Aguilera Show” rather than a movie let alone one set around a struggling cabaret club.

Have you seen both movies? Do you have a favourite?

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