10 August 2015 | dbdumonteil
You know it ain't easy/You know how hard it can be
"Details the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from before their first meeting to their rise to stardom." :This depiction is inaccurate :Lennon was already a superstar when he met Yoko Ono and later shed light on her unknown work .
This MTV work is faithful like a dog to the "official " biography ,and can ,front that point of view ,be considered a successful biopic;in almost every scene ,the viewer -Beatles fan ,of course- already knows which famous line will be said ; the screenwriters ,in 2 hours thirty minutes, put almost "all you (want to) know about the famous love story.
Marc McGann and mainly Kim Miyori resemble (physically ) their models . Ditto for Richard Morant's distinguished Brian Epstein;the same can't be said of Harrison and poor Ringo who is not even funny !As for Kenneth Price's Paul McCartney,it's a disaster:the actor has no screen presence ,does not look like Paul (they were not able to cast William Campbell ,were they?).Why did they dub Paul for the rehearsals (in which they butcher "Sgt pepper's " "let it be" and "you never give me your money"? Fortunately,we hear Lennon's (and hem...Yoko's) true voice,even if the chosen tracks are sometimes anachronistic :"I want You (She's so heavy)" is heard when the Beatles study in India.And if my memory serves me well,the couple dances the waltz to "I me mine" ,not to "let it be" in the 1970 film .
The second part is Beatlesless,which is a blessing ;Lennon's solo career is treated in a linear way ,without those "meaningful" childhood flashbacks which mar so many contemporary rock star biopics ;it's a good thing to have shown Yoko's fight to be given the custody of her daughter,for this side of the story is often passed over in silence.The assassination is treated concisely.
Yoko appears as a victim of the nasty English people,of men ,and of their justice.She performs a brief excerpt of her avant-garde "Cambridge 1969" (released on "life with the lions" ,an album where you can also hear the baby's heartbeat Lennon records in the hospital),"Yang Yang" and, that fateful night,her best track "walking on thin ice" .This portrayal is obviously biased and she is certainly not the nice romantic sensible lady of the biopic,even if she is certainly not the shrew depicted by Goldmann in his notorious biography.
Phil Spector ,who played a prominent part in Lennon solo's debut has an one-minute scene ;however he did produce THREE of his albums ,including his strongest "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band " ;incidentally ,Doctor Janov does not appear and is not even mentioned :considering he was the main influence on Lennon's first ,which spawned the whole school of the "confessional" artists in the seventies ,it's certainly the biggest gap in Lennon /Ono's story.
Beatles' fans will not learn anything new in this biopic ,but it is pleasant to Watch ,and considering it was made thirty years ago ,it has worn pretty well.