Friday, October 30, 2009

This Is It

This Is It is a must for die-hard Michael Jackson fans, for those who simply liked the music of this amazing musician and songwriter and for anyone who wants to see "The King of Pop" perform one last time. The documentary is a montage of film footage of interviews, auditions and rehearsals for what would have been his 2009 concerts at London's O2 Arena. These were filmed for Michael's later private use and with the permission of the Michael Jackson estate were pieced together to make This Is It.

This Is It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience (in spite of my recovering from a viral illness). I was delighted that Michael's voice, at age 50, was almost as good as I remembered from the 1980's. Jackson spoke constantly during rehearsals about his need to conserve his voice, which he often seemed unable to do perhaps because he got carried away by the music and his need for perfection.

I also thought Jackson's face didn't look as bad as I expected. It was apparent he'd had an immense amount of plastic surgery but he didn't look as strange as some of the pictures I'd seen of him. I was impressed by his respectful attitude towards all the performers whom he treated very professionally. It was also interesting to see MJ's use of modern digital and CGI effects for some of his songs, especially Smooth Criminal and They Don't Care About Us.

There are interviews with dancers, band members including the talented Australian guitarist, Orianthi Panagaris, costumers and trainers.

In the end, I was left with a mixture of feelings; thrilled to have seen what would have eventually been concert performances, sad at Jackson's untimely death, and wondering if he could have redeemed himself if he had been able to perform again.

You can view various clips of the rehearsal footage at the This Is It website.

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