Movie Review: Sparkle

Jordin Sparks’ first lead role on the big screen his theatres today. Also starring Whitney Houston in her last work before her untimely passing earlier this year, Sparkle (a remake of the 1976 film of the same name) is the story of three sisters who form a singing trio in the late 50s.

Donovan and I agree, it wasn’t Dreamgirls, but there are definitely some enjoyable moments in this film. Both of us being huge Whitney fans, I think her scenes were our favorite for sure. American Idol winner Sparks assumes title role of Sparkle. Along with her stunning sister Sister (yes that’s her name) and brainy sister Dee (Tika Sumpter) they form a singing trio that soon gains a lot of attention and a possible record deal.

The girls continuously sneak out of the house to perform while avoiding the wrath of their religious mother Emma (Houston) who had previously attempted a singing career and failed, causing a bout of alcoholism that was hinted at. She considers her life and experience a cautionary tale to her young girls and denies them any support in their endeavors.

I was thoroughly impressed with Houston’s performance, she made me laugh. The last time I watched her in a movie was The Bodyguard which is a timeless classic in my books. Houston’s incredible voice is highlighted in the film when she performs “His Eye is on the Sparrow” at church. The performance is just as dramatic as you would expect from good old Whitney. While Sparks did a good job, and Sumpter was my favorite of the sisters, nothing takes the focus away from Houston’s commanding presence on screen. It was bittersweet to watch her performance.

The film was directed by Salim Akil. Personally, I found the cinematography and editing to be a little weird. There’s a scene involving domestic violence (which already makes me uncomfortable) that you would normally expect to be fast-paced and choppy, instead it was in slow motion. So strange. There was also a lot of unnecessarily awkward camera angles. You’ll have to see it to get what I mean.

Like I said before, it’s no Dreamgirls. Having said that, I would say it’s a decent film based on budget and cast. If you’re into Motown music or Whitney Houston, I suggest you see this film.

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars