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When You’re Strange Movie Review

Directed by Tom Dicillo, the movie When you’re strange, Is a documentary that delves into offering an insight into the history of the Doors Band. Though the movie focuses much on the band’s lead singer, Jim Morrison, the documentary is able to provide information since the early days of the band’s formation in 1965. It is through the use of footages from the the Doors rehearsal footage, performance and even personal insights from remaining band members that the film creates an avenue towards providing the band’s history.

The one thing that stands out and makes the documentary is the ability of Dicillo to combine, edit and source the different sources of information on the band. This allows the viewer to understand the environment that existed around the band in its formative years as well as the life and death of Morrison, who becomes the central focus of the film. As such, although Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore offer their views, Morrison has remained the one icon of the band that one mostly identifies.  This is also identifiable from the start of the film that the narrator indicates that Morrison was found dead at 27 years as a result of the heart attack.

The shift to the achieve footage offers an alternative to the usual documentary setup and aids in celebrating the top of the charts listings band. This is because the film offers an insight into the varying emotions of the band at different times, business dealings, popularity as well as primarily focusing on the talents and troubles of Morrison and up to the sad ending with the death of the band’s leader. As such, the film plays a role in showing how the band conveniently became part of the rock and roll hall of fame.

A number of shortcomings are evident in the film especially as regards the lack of cohesiveness in storytelling. This is seen in regards to Morrison’s life where no logic is placed in light of his choice to pursue music and or poetry. This is because apart from his music and a few poems, nothing substantial is shown towards this end. In addition, when Morrison life takes a turn for the worse, he becomes an alcoholic, and drug abuser, not much light is shed into the reasons as to why this occurs. To this end, the film only offers snippets that seem to point out his father as the lead cause and concentrates on the band calling out Morrison as the cause of almost all their problems. Despite this hardship on the band, the film is able to show the bands happy times especially during television shows and live concerts

As a film that delves into the history of the band, it creates a great avenue for off the shelf information about the band but does not deliver in terms of substance. This is because, in as much as the visual tone is achieved, one feels that they only get the general information on Morrison and not the band. This is because the other band members disappear into the shadow and in as much as the movie focuses on Morrison; it does not offer an insight into why the group became famous, the leader crashed, or why the desert scenes keep reoccurring.






Work Cited

The Doors: When You’re Strange. Dir. Tom DiCillo. Perf. Johnny Depp. 2009. Film.


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