All That Jazz

All That Jazz ★★★★½

As exhilarating as it is absurdly vainglorious, All That Jazz stays upbeat, funny, and energetic as hell throughout - things keep happening throughout the film (and Joe Gideon's life), but overall it conveys a certain melancholy that no amount of musical or dance sequences can fill. Many films have dealt with depression and addiction but very few have weaved the two of them together to deliver an all-encompassing commentary on (as cliche as it may sound) the human condition. You could as well tap your toe to the whole film, but you won't be able to escape Fosse's intense personal self-reflection. This is what you get when you mix together the existentialism of Synecdoche New York with the sexy rhythm of hard bop.

But what really makes ATJ stand out is that it is the answer to man's problem of identity: you are your own confusion. The adding up of your longings, your regrets, your loathing, your inabilities, your insecurities, the people you left a mark on, your undertakings, your dreams, your ambitions. None of these things shine a light on their own on who you are because it takes all of them to make up the sum of your identity.

The film hardly resolves anything, it's a mess, and it's you.

Written by: Shikhar Shivraj Jaiswal, in Movie Geeks 2.0.