Who am I?Where am I?

31 October 2009

‘This Is It’

Yesterday afternoon, I managed to watch ‘This Is It’ in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall. I was eagerly anticipating the show, and had been since the previous weekend, when I had purchased tickets. As I entered the theatre listening to some of Michael Jackson’s classics I was filled with a sense of nostalgia. The man was, quite simply, the most talented artist to ever grace the stage. Being a child of the mid-70s, I am old enough to remember many of Michael’s albums getting love on the radio stations. Sitting there yesterday watching the man do his thing during rehearsals just took me back.

As a documentary, ‘This Is It’ falls short. It doesn’t document anything. It’s a collection of videos showing various rehearsals for the O2 Arena shows. As my boy Ed said (yeah, I’m giving you a shot out in my blog), “It was more concert than movie.” However, maybe that’s all it had to be. Maybe the film just needed to let us watch MJ, the man, operate in his element.

Whether you loved Michael Jackson or hated him, he was no ordinary human being. This film allowed the extraordinary person he was to shine through. There were several times during this movie where I just sat back and thought to myself, “Wow!” The first such occurrence happened when I saw Michael dance. He had hand selected a group of extraordinary dancers to have on stage. These dancers were all young, extremely buff, and all can flat out dance. What I found amazing was that even at 50, MJ not only could hang with these guys, but in a lot of instances, he was just flat out better. Extraordinary!

The second time I sat back in amazement was during rehearsal for one particular segment involving laser lights. MJ stopped the set, and made a recommendation. Once this recommendation was incorporated into the scene, the scene improved markedly. Seeing MJ slightly adjust what a musician was doing was expected. He was a musical genius. Seeing him dance, while maybe surprising given his age, was not unexpected. Realizing how well MJ understood the nuances and theatrics of live entertainment was a revelation. I seriously doubt that any artist will ever again possess the same combination of talents possessed by MJ. He was a brilliant choreographer, song writer, musician, dancer, performer, and understood the theater of his trade.

At the end of the film, I found myself wishing for two things. First, I really wished that people had just left him alone during his life. Admittedly, MJ was eccentric. Yet this eccentricity never merited the treatment he received from the press and society in general. If instead of thinking MJ was a freak, we had appreciated his genius, to how much more of this genius would we have had the privilege of being exposed? Secondly, I was really sad that the film was over and wishing it would continue. I wanted to Condite those 2+ hours and appreciate MJ some more! MJ’s Delphian song “Gone Too Soon” gracing the airwaves as the credits played would have summed up my melancholy feelings at the realization that a great man is no longer among the living.


Vera Ikeji said...

I am so looking forward to watching it!

Anonymous said...

We miss Michael around the world. I was waiting to see him back after this long silence. He was accused to do what he never did to children. Maybe he loved them but...s what? He lost his own childhood. How can we forget Michael?? He is a part of my life from the Jackson 5 to his solo album Thriller working with Quincy Jones etc. "We are the world'"Man in the mirror" "Black or White" show how Michael had a great heart. his texts and messages are clear for a better world. I hope his children will keep on working what he left for the children of the world and his legacy. Thank you for posting this articles. We love Michael forever. United States and the world have lost a great man

Anonymous said...

No Never Cn say goodbye to Michael Jackson. Who can forget Motown 25? (Yesterday, today, forever) when he performed Billie Jean ...I mean the moonwalk. I think our world needs a little bit of Moonwalk sometimes."This it" would be a great comeback for the King of Pop...The genius Michael's gone too soon...why? Because he has this Human Nature.