Bob Fosse gives an autobiographical look through the eyes of Joe Gideo, a director-choreographer. He’s at the top of his game in work, and success until his world collapses at the hands’ of his own body. He is so into his work that he’s forgot relaxation, and has drive his body to the brink with sex, alcohol, smoking, and his livelihood, Dexedrine.
Take away the constant scenes of pointless sexuality and you have a hit. This seems like one of the darkest movies I’ve watched with the exception of Shame, which oddly seemed to convey what might really happen to Joe Gideon if he realized the amount of addiction he has. I saw a trailer for this, and went on for something very broadway, and what I ended up with was a dark tale back dropped in famed to tell a story about a guy falling apart.
Roy Scheider steals the show from anyone else in this film as he should. His performance is way believable as if he is Bob Fosse himself. He also balances the perfect balance of flamboyance, and masculinity to make him the choreographer he is. Though the other performances are strong they never steal the scene from the true star of the show, Joe Gideon. By the end we oddly care for someone we don’t feel we known enough to know why he is such a waste.
Fosse also brings his best to directing this. The atmosphere is spot on all the way throughout. It’s dark, and yet somehow manages to bring that element of stage we don’t usually associate with something so morbid. The last hour of this film is terribly dark, but so well done you can’t help but watch. The only thing I didn’t like the movie were scenes that seemed pointless. You don’t need tons of nudity to stress that a character is sexual. I’m not even one who is usually going to be bothered by that, but this was so excessive, that I would not want anyone randomly walking in to see me viewing this movie without knowing what it was. The scenes misconstrue the movie for something it’s not.
I for some reason I have always liked darker stories. Perhaps because they provide a bit of comfort, or make someone else’s life seem worse. That sounds awful, but maybe it’s true. I wanted to like this movie more than I did, and it’s one I’ll never forget. Scenes left me conflicted, but thankfully it keeps me watching despite this throughout.
Rating 3 of 5.