Netflix’s new release, The Prom, is a star-studded affair. The movie is full of colours and dazzling lights but, it is also riddled with flaws.
Directed by Ryan Murphy, the story begins with two Broadway stars, Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden) whose extremely gallivanting musical closes on the opening night. Heartbroken and desperate, they start reflecting on their journey as actors so far.
The duo is joined by Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) who is tired of being the chorus girl. Her only dream is to be at the centre of the stage as the lead singer. At that moment, Trent Oliver(Andrew Rannells), a bartender and Juilliard alum, suggests that they should do something charitable to climb back at spotlight again.
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The four hapless individuals have to convince the common people that they’re not narcissists. Angie then stumbles upon a tweet about a girl from Indiana, Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman), who is denied entry into her school prom because of her sexuality. An entirely conservative town is hell-bent on stopping this lesbian teen from going to her prom because her choice of life and sexual preference doesn’t reflect their state’s culture. Dee Dee and Barry realize this is their chance to retrieve back their lost glory. They march towards Indiana to help the girl get accepted in society.
The Prom highlights how the inherent strata of our society treats a gay individual. Emma is getting cornered by parents, students, and everyone in Indiana because she wanted to take her girlfriend Alyssa ( Ariana DeBose) to the prom. The story could’ve been promising, however, it failed miserably. The musical numbers are average along with a tedious second half. There are so many unnecessary scenes which could’ve been easily cut off.
Even though Barry had a tragic backstory, James Corden failed to bring out Barry’s full potential. Corden failed to portray Barry as a gay character. Most of his dialogues and attempts seemed forced. Nicole Kidman is generally an enigma in everything she does but here, she just became an average side-kick. Rannells kept on ranting about his lost Julliard glory throughout the movie and it became so annoying, that at one point you would question the necessity of his character.
Jo Ellen and Ariana do their best in their respective roles. They actually succeed in bringing out the emotional struggle of being homosexual in a conservative society. Keegan Micheal-Key lives up to his character’s potential as the principal. However, Meryl Streep outshines her role. She is the only person who held the entire movie together with her charm and charismatic persona.
Murphy intended to highlight one of the most alarming issues of our society. Growing up as a gay teenager in Indiana, he couldn’t bring a date to his prom. He wanted to portray the struggle that the LGBTQ+ community go through every day. But, even though his intention was noble, he failed to make the movie as grandeur as his cause. At times, it felt Murphy gave more importance to the failed Broadway Stars than the actual teenagers who were fighting for their identity.
The Prom is good for a one time watch if you like to see Streep dazzle the audience with her performance. The message behind the movie is sweet and caring. If you’ve nothing else to do with your free time, give this movie a try.
Rating – 2.5/5