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The Book of Mormon, Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

I happened to be in Los Angeles California, this past September near the Pantages Theater when” The Book of Mormon,” was on its tour in the city. I heard about the play from some friends back in New York and I was already a big fan of the directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for their popular show “South Park.” I knew the play would be funny just based on their involvement alone, so I had to see it.  A few friends of mine were interested as well, so they decide to join me. I can definitely say, the play was unforgettable, and I think that would be the case even for those who don’t like it.

The name of the play, its writer(s), the director, the date of the production, and the location of the theater (or space) where you saw it.

The name of the play is “The Book of Mormon.” The directors are Trey Parker, Joseph Smith, and the writer is Robert Lopez. The location where I saw this play was the Pantages theater in Los Angeles, on Septemebr5th.

A brief plot summary so that a reader who hasn’t seen the play will understand the general elements of the plot.

To say the plot of this play was over the top is an understatement; just the plot line verbalized is hard to say with a straight face. The story centers around two Mormon missionaries who are in a small village in Africa. There are two Mormon missionaries, one who is devout and confident one who is not as devout and very insecure. The devout Mormon’s name is Elder Price and he is the main character of the play. Both of the men want to be sent to Orlando to do their mission, but instead they are sent to an African Tribe where the tribesman denounce the name of God in celebration and they are tortured by an evil devil worshipping War Lord. The conflict centers on the fact that they have to convert everyone to Mormonism.

An analytical evaluation of how well and to what extent the setting, props, music, lighting, and sound effects work together cohesively

The clothing of all of the actors is very realistic. All of the Mormons dress similar to a Jehovah ’s Witness, very professional with white short-sleeve collared shirts and ties, prepared to go door to door. The irony is when they synchronize and get into choreographed bouts of singing.

An analytical evaluation of the acting, dialogue, and/or directing

As the play is a musical there are many memorable numbers where the cast break out into song. This makes the dialogue a bit animated, like it’s always a part of some upcoming musical number.  At one point Price sings, I “Eversince I was a child I tried to be the best, so what happened? My family and friends they said I was blessed, so what happened?” This song is one of the key points in the play and resembles the transitioning moment when Price stops walking blindly with faith and starts questioning the world around him and developing as a character.

A discussion of the theme(s) of the play and how those themes were developed

One major theme of the play is blasphemy. It can be seen as the underlying message of the play in that the plot makes fun of and belittles Mormonism, but also it is also directly acted out in scenes where the  in the small Uganda village

A judgment or recommendation – would you recommend others see this play? Who, specifically, might enjoy it? Who might it not be appropriate for? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the production? (Don’t forget to have reasons and specific examples for why you’re making the judgment you are!)

This play was definitely directed towards the already build up fan base of South Park. I think the message the creators were trying to get across to the public is that their fan base has grown literally in age and matured to the point that their work can be supported on Broadway. In a recent interview I saw of them promoting the play they said that Mormons were members of their audience. Trey Parker acknowledged that there were only a select few Mormons that would come and see his play and even those Mormons were a very select type.

The bias I had for the play itself was hard to spate from my actual experience, and I believe a large majority of the audience felt the same way. I would recommend this play for anyone who is not very serious about religion.

References:

“The Book of Mormon” http://www.bookofmormonbroadway.com/tour_page.php

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