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Cabaret

Uploaded by Spudgirl on Sep 07, 2001

'Life is a cabaret...' Do the events of the film support this view of Sally?


Sally's powerful closing song, in which she asserts that 'life is a cabaret', indicates her decision to turn away from reality. She chooses the world of the cabaret as a way forward in life over her real relationships with Brian or her father. The song's call to a frivolous life stands in stark contrast to the events portrayed in the film. Sally is characteristically ignorant of the fact that Berlin may be in any kind of serious trouble. She offers us a fantasy, for we can see that outside of the Kit Kat Club, life is anything but a cabaret.

Bob Fosse depicts a politically unstable and economically depressed society on the verge of moral breakdown. Throughout the film, the audience comes to understand that the cabaret provides an escape from the burden of society's troubles. Fritz Wendel voices Berlin's exhausted attitude towards the devastating effects of inflation upon meeting Brian in the Kit Kat Club. The people's desperate need for change is also evident in the gradual acceptance of the Nazis, who offer stability, wealth, and a return to glory for a crumbling nation. Sally, however, revels in the 'divine decadence' of 1931 Berlin.

Sally's defiant song challenges society's expectations of people. Her attitude towards all external problems throughout the film is to forge ahead in a reckless, hedonistic and often inconsiderate manner, regardless of whether this entails ignorance of significant events (eg. dead Jew in the street). The song contains a somewhat amoral message, encouraging the audience to have a good time, in spite of what it may take to do so. It urges listeners not to conform to society or to worry about other people's opinions. Like Sally, the song alluringly promotes a hedonistic lifestyle, to 'put down' your boring lives and 'come hear the music play'. Sally stand centre stage in the spotlight, shot long in the colour of feminism, selling the image of this self-indulgent world with energetic vivacity. She tells us of Elsie, who died of 'too much pills and liquor', and asserts that 'when [she ] goes, [she's] goin' like Elsie'. Such free spirited sentiments of the song contrast with a society under great pressure.

This song, though it offers an affirmation of Sally's chice, is obviously contradictory to the events portrayed outside of the illusory cabaret world. The ideas raised...

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Uploaded by:   Spudgirl

Date:   09/07/2001

Category:   Film

Length:   4 pages (860 words)

Views:   1993

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