Since ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Hollywood seems to have discovered a new gold mine in biopics about the lives of famous musicians. ‘Rocketman’, ‘The Mother of Blues’, ‘USA vs. Billie Holiday’, ‘Elvis’… plus all those to come. Among the last ones that went through the billboard we have ‘respect’starring the singer Jennifer Hudson which focuses on the life of Aretha Franklin.
the queen of soul
Director’s feature debut liesl tommy (with previous experience in television projects such as ‘Mrs. Fletcher’), recounts Aretha Flanklin’s rise to fame, from her beginnings in the church choir to her consolidation as one of the most important figures in the history of soul music. This musical drama builds her story on the different songs from Franklin’s discography.
The main theme of the film is the search for identity, since the rising career of this soul icon is also a journey of self-discovery in which Aretha will have to find out who she iswhat he believes in and what kind of music he really wants to do.
Another fundamental issue is that Difficulty finding your own voice in an environment where she has been exposed to certain people who have influenced her decisions. Starting with her father (played by Forest Whitaker), who is excessively controlling and restrictive with his daughter, but above all, with Ted White (Marlon Wayans in the film), with whom he had a relationship full of abuse for a long time. .
a natural woman
As in other recent music biopics, go for a powerful lead actress: Jennifer Hudson manages to elevate the ensemble with a solid performance. The singer and actress (whom you’ll know from ‘Dreamgirls’) blends in with the queen of soul and stars in some musical numbers that don’t detract from her voice at all.
The film suffers from the same problem as some of its predecessors within the genre: the portrayal of the singer does not risk too much, tiptoeing along the edges of his biography and forming a fairly conventional script that, however, has a good rhythm and manages to make its two hours not weigh at all.
‘Respect’, available on Amazon Prime Video, is one more musical biopic that has the strengths and weaknesses of other similar films. It will please fans of this genre who want to spend an entertaining afternoon and learn a little more about the life of this singer. It’s also a good alternative if Eurovision leaves you wanting more.