Rock Docs III

film 4 of 4

This Is It

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 17, 2015

There’s a melancholy weight to this, equal measures of poignancy and pathos. It’s pathetic too—those poor, sincere, loving folks in the prologue! Some of them literally, palpably worship Michael Jackson. Who at times appears to be as pathetic as they are. Not much of a transcendent signifier! On the other hand, he’s not all that pathetic. For all the cringy toadying that surrounds him, it’s also clear that he’s some singer, dancer, choreographer, and, even, visionary. Too bad he’s saving his voice, but even on low gear it’s a superb instrument. Frail? Evidently. But also, it appears, an athlete.

On one hand the number of enabling sycophants on display here is kind of disgusting. Or, if we’re thinking more kindly, or looking more closely, he really is a genius, who quite deserves to have people writing down and implementing his ideas. The obvious sentiments that one takes away from the film are also the right ones. How unfortunate that they weren’t able to stage this! What a mercy that they’ve got this record. Listen to I’ll Be There. How sad! And beautiful. God bless us, every one…