Monday, November 2, 2009


Musical genius, eccentric or tabloid pariah, Michael Jackson polarised people. This was clear in the many tributes following his death, as each article either praised his legacy or criticized his personal life. What each had in common was their agreement of the power of his showmanship and how his songs benefited from his multi-talented persona. Documenting the rehearsals for a show which ultimately never happened, This Is It highlights the energetic spectacle which saw his music top the charts over many decades. Although billed as being 'for the fans', it wouldn't be too churlish to suggest the film is a great way for the promoters to recoup their outlay. It probably sounds very cynical but given the more temperamental aspects of Jackson's character were vetoed by his family, This Is It only really gives part of the picture. This in no way suggests the film is a disappointment although it ties in well in his early lesson of the truth holding little sway in selling news. Whether he would have approved of the raw footage being shown is another matter, as the purist in him may have fought its release. Free of diva-like tantrums and dramatics what we do see is a performer full of vigour and precision. His ability to leave his fellow crew awestruck shows the vital showbiz ingredient of a magnetic presence enabling him to sell his songs. Although still coming across as a personal enigma any emotion needed is in the music which, in choreographer/director Kenny Ortega's hands, makes each tune come alive. The stripped back nature of the enterprise provides a great insight into the mechanics of such a huge production with Ortega thankfully ensuring the film isn't just one long video clip. It would have been one hell of a show to see, although Ortega is careful not to turn This Is It into a sorrowful tribute. The enthusiasm and hard work of the dancers, musicians and general crew is well shown, although it's difficult to not feel sorry for them in how events transpired. If there's any consolation This Is It showcases their talents superbly with some great cinematography dragging you right onto the stage. This adds another dimension to his catalogue of well known hits, with some surprising re-interpretations showing the creativity in each written word. Even after his death, some may never understand what drove Michael Jackson. Like any self-made legend the facts of his life will be debated for years, although This Is It provides a timeless document of a great performer who handled the slings and arrows of fame with finesse until the final fadeout. Movie Review Rating 7 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore THIS IS IT! released in Australia on Thursday 29th October 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review THIS IS IT Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

No comments:

Post a Comment