“Burlesque” showcases Aguilera’s powerhouse vocals and parallel story

Christina Aguilera stars in her first feature film “Burlesque,” a glamorous musical featuring sassy dance routines and Aguilera’s soulful and powerful vocals along with loud, revealing outfits. Rivalry and jealousy between characters creates a love story set in Los Angeles. The legend Cher costars in the film as Tess, the owner of “The Burlesque Lounge,” at which Aguilera’s character, Ali, aspires to perform.


By: Richelle Dodaro
Staff Writer
Christina Aguilera stars in her first feature film “Burlesque,” a glamorous musical featuring sassy dance routines and Aguilera’s soulful and powerful vocals along with loud, revealing outfits. Rivalry and jealousy between characters creates a love story set in Los Angeles. The legend Cher costars in the film as Tess, the owner of “The Burlesque Lounge,” at which Aguilera’s character, Ali, aspires to perform.
Ali is originally from a small town in Iowa, but she realizes she belongs somewhere else. A parallel exists within this film: having grown up in a small town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Aguilera’s own story is similar to that of Ali’s. Not only are their small-town upbringing similar, but the jealousy both dealt with as they pursued their dreams. Ali experiences hostile jealousy from a fellow Burlesque performer (Kristen Bell) who attempts to ruin Ali’s first performance.
Aguilera experienced jealousy from her peers ranging from her mother’s car tires being slashed to students pulling the plug to speakers used for one of Aguilera’s childhood performances. This kind of similarity may not have presented the greatest acting challenge for Aguilera, yet she did well for her first film.
The musical numbers throughout “Burlesque” feature mostly Ali, but Tess still performs two show-stopping songs entitled “Welcome to Burlesque” and “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.” The film opens with one of Aguilera’s best numbers, the amazing, jaw-dropping cover of Etta James’ upbeat “Something’s Gotta Hold On Me.” Aguilera’s other great numbers include the ballad “Bound To You” and “Show Me How You Burlesque.” Aguilera definitely dominates the musical performances.
The brief scenes that occurred during the performed songs were interesting and refreshing. The situation and emotion of the scene matched with those the songs.
The only problem with the film is that with big stars like Cher and Aguilera, it’s hard not to associate them with their characters. When “Ali” performs, one is viewing it as an Aguilera performance.
Subplots include Tess’s struggle to maintain the club financially, Ali’s spark with bartender and songwriter Jack (Cam Gigandet) and Marcus (Eric Dance), a wealthy businessman who wants to buy “The Burlesque Lounge” to turn it into a luxury apartment complex.
If you are a fan of Aguilera and/or the lively, exotic world of Burlesque, this film is definitely a “must-see.” This hopefully won’t be the last of Aguilera’s acting career. The film opened on Thanksgiving Day. The soundtrack is now available on iTunes.