First Impressions…The Prom

Netflix’s film adaptation of the musical is set to hit our screens from the 11th December. The first trailer has been released and here’s a few thoughts from it…

It is always a tricky business trying to adapt a massively popular musical to the big screen as we have seen in recent years, so it will be interesting to see how well this popular Broadway musical does.

Director Ryan Murphy is certainly a champion of promoting equality and change, celebrating those whose voices are perhaps not so well heard as others. It is very much the theme behind his previous work including Glee and more recently Hollywood, so it is little wonder that he has chosen to focus on bringing The Prom to a wider audience.

The Prom follows high school student Emma who wants to attend her school prom with her girlfriend – but is banned from doing so by the head of the PTA. Can the support of two stage stars who are looking for a cause to resurrect their careers get Emma to the prom with her girlfriend?

Judging from this trailer, it is clear that this is a film that is bright, bold and colourful – with no expense being spared visually or on the cast that has been lined up. But (and of course it is too early to tell without watching it properly), there is something that feels slightly superficial about it – with the heartwarming element of the story being lost.

A lot more focus is also paid on the bigger stars – rather than the central characters which is slightly frustrating. Of course the trailer is supposed to highlight a lot of the characters – but so much more attention is paid to James Corden, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. Yes, they will probably draw people who wouldn’t normally watch something like The Prom – but we have to hope the power, joy and focus of the story isn’t lost in translation.

This being said, again with Ryan Murphy’s previous work there is always a delicate and perceptive way in which he handles issues and I have no reason that this won’t be the case here. It is clear that he has created a glamorous take on this musical that will hopefully capture the sheer beauty and power of bringing theatrical work to the big screen (or in this case Netflix) that has had mixed fortunes over the years.

Does it look a lot of fun? Yes it really does – it looks bright, lively and feel good entertainment which will certainly keep us going until the release of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie next year.

By Emma Clarendon

The Prom will be heading to Netflix and selected cinemas from 11th December.

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