In 2005, eleven years after the musical went to broadway, “Rent” went to the big screen. I watched the movie for the first time February 2014 and I was nowhere near disappointed.
The movie cast had Idina Mezel as Maureen, Adam Pascal as Roger, Anthony Rapp as Mark, Rosario Dawson as Mimi, Jesse L. Martin as Collins, Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel, Tracie Thoms as Joanne and Taye Diggs as Benny. Dawson and Thoms were the only two cast members who were not in the original broadway cast in the movie.
The movie takes place in New York starting in the year 1989 through 1990 and shows the harsh, yet true realities of life all while trying to pay rent. It shows the realities of living with AIDs/ HIV, drug use, and of living in New York itself. It centers around eight friends, four of which who are living with HIV/AIDs. The love interests of the movie are Angel and Collins, Maureen and Joanne, and Roger and Mimi. Angel is a drag queen, who is homosexual, has AIDs and is by far the most moving, loving character in the movie. Angel the only character who died in “Rent.” By having these couples together it shows that it doesn’t matter what gender you are, love is love and either way losing someone you love no matter the circumstance is hard. The entire movie itself really shows what “Seasons of Love” really means, how to spend a year and live like it is your last.
The entire cast did a great job. I applaud Christopher Columbus for the decision to put the original cast in the movie. All of the characters in “Rent” are interesting, even Benny, who is not the most ideal character. “Rent” is one of the most emotional and real movies I have watched. It has great music, a great message and is a tear jerker.
Word of warning: If you are not one who can stand to watch public displays of affection between same sex couples, you can either turn your head or just not watch the movie because there are a few parts where 2 of the couples who are the same sex kiss and hold hands. The movie is not to graphic with Angel dying because of AIDs, but there is a part where he has spots on his face because of the disease before his funeral. There is also some language, but they do not cuss a ton.