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Sunset Boulevard - musical review

             Screewriter Joe Gillis met a faded film star Norma Desmond by chance. She initially employs him to edit her script for a movie for her 'comeback', but she soon falls hopelessly in love with him and persuades him to be her live-in lover. Eventually, Joe founds himself torn away from his old lifestyle and friendships. Meanwhile, Norma has proceeded with her plans for her return to the screen and visits Paramount studios to seek help. However, Joe collaborates in secret with young studio employee Betty Schaefer, and they soon declared their love for one another. Torn between his luxurious life supplied by Norma and his genuine affection for Betty, Joe decides to leave Hollywood and start life afresh in his homeland Ohio. Raged Norma shot Joe as he left her home on Sunset Boulevard. In the final scene, she fell into insanity as press and police invaded her home, and, believing herself to be back on the set of one of her movies, descends the grand staircase in her mansion with the unfading words: "now, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.".
             Sunset Boulevard may not be Lloyd Webber's best score, but it is his most seamlessly and artfully constructed. The genre of music that 'Sunset Boulevard' belongs to could be described as music comprising mainly of strings, brass, saxophone and other wind instruments. The dark opening theme, throughout the luxuriant strings, perfectly evokes old Hollywood, occasionally broken by beautiful jazzy interludes. "With One Look" and "As if We Never Said Goodbye" are widely acknowledged as Webber's best songs, the latter as a joyous and hopeful ballad. "The Perfect Year" is a majestic dance, and "Too Much in Love to Care" is a romantic duet in which young lovers show their love for one another. "Let's have lunch" is a beloved song, not just for musical lovers, but also people who do not even watch musicals. On the other hand, the music seems repetitive even by Lloyd Webber standards, with fewer than a dozen themes recycled over the 96 minutes, and the lyrics are merely passable.

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