The film 'Sparkle', which opened at the box office this last Friday, August 17th will be sure to have a stirring reaction from viewers. It's a remake of the 1976 original starring Irene Cara. The storyline centers around three sisters living in Detroit desperately looking to become overnight sensations in music due to the passive persuasiveness of the youngest sibling, whose knack for writing great songs is key in devising the master plan. All this, despite an overbearing mom whose own experience in the limelight left a bitter taste and unfavorable outlook on showbiz.
What's undeniable is how this remake captivates with strong charismatic performances (played by Whitney Houston, Carmen Ejogo and Mike Epps), along with solid entertainment that offers a fresh, updated spin on music that have a traditional Motown feel appealing to the late 60's era.
Jordin Sparks is Sparkle and in her debut on the silver screen she shines. The camera loves her and the former American Idol star carries a likable innocence and allows room for those that play off her to do their best work. Whitney's performance is evolved in this movie, she's professional and impressive as the mother, Emma. It will surely make her following proud. There's actually an undertone here that's mixed, on the one hand its melancholy, then there's a feeling of being content in witnessing Whitney's clear mind, and sense of being at peace (feeling accomplished). Her emotional interpretation of 'His Eyes Is on the Sparrow' is moving and the line where she belts, 'I sing because I'm free' hits home. It isn't because of any sympathy given to Houston when you may hear that this easily was a clear sign of a strong comeback, she was earning one.
Carmen Ejogo gives a stunningly flawless and fascinatingly complex depiction in her role as Sister throughout the entire piece. She was simply marvelous, you will remember her name. Epps also deserves praise for his versatility in this picture. Tika Sumpter (sister, Delores) also cleverly pulled her own weight.
Overall critique: This will perhaps lose points with those that expect a remake to stick closely to the original without too much variation, but for those that look for the film to make an impact - all of its own, this will surely satisfy. The consensus here is that the film is clearly a great compliment to the original and not meant to ride the coattails of something that was already great, but add to it. It should be appreciated for it's own unique take on the classic.
Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks Celebrate: