A few weeks ago, I found the ‘OFFICIAL’ F*R*I*E*N*D*S collection at a Landmark sale. At 300 bucks, this hardbound collection of photographs and interviews of the people behind pop culture’s biggest headlines was a steal, to say the least. Being the ‘OFFICIAL’ collection, it made me – a die hard fan – proud to own it. And why not? Behind-the-scenes juice is always welcome. Keen on knowing the little nitty-gritties of being a part of the F*R*I*E*N*D*S cast and crew, I settled down with the book the very same day that I bought it. Sadly, I couldn’t take it beyond the 3rd interview, simply because I got tired of reading how lovely the cast was and how simply great the entire experience turned out to be. Everybody interviewed had the same thing to say, in a million different ways. Ultimately, it all seemed too good to be true (however much I’d like to believe it was all rosy when they made my favorite sitcom). From then on, I made a mental note not to take coffee table reading seriously.
Up until this morning, I was wary of watching This is It for the very same reason. If this was going to be a bunch of clippings of people fawning over MJ and how great he was and how smooth his dance moves were, I wasn’t planning to stick around to watch it.
… but I was proven wrong. The film moonwalks through extensive rehearsal sessions peppered with some of Jacko’s best songs, with the occasional soundbyte from members of the crew. Well, of course, they did have good things to say about MJ, but not nauseatingly so; which actually made it much more genuine. There was no need for the random dancer/singer/designer to gush about the man’s greatness; the footage just spoke for itself.
On another note, the Human Nature song set me thinking. Look at it this way – here’s a guy who probably consumes as much as an entire township does at his private residence in Neverland, CA, and who also probably ran sky high electricity bills just REHEARSING for a major concert. He also sings songs to save the earth and all of nature. See what I mean?
But I digress. Without further ado, I pronounce This is It watchable at least once, even if you never were a great fan of the man. Let’s face it: MJ was a phenomenon more than a person, and has been a part of all of us- be it performances at the school Annual Day, or a scene from The Company Theatre’s Hamlet. And of course, if you’re a die-hard MJ fan… I suggest you catch it as many times as you can on the big screen. There is something magical about watching that man move on 70mm that no DVD could ever bring you.
And to quote a good friend of mine: “Keep watching till they send in the cleaners”.