20 November 2003 | Ronin47
Fascinating and tragic (***1/2)
There is no doubt that Tupac Shakur is one of the most intriguing, fascinating personalities in pop music history. He is made up of a seemingly endless list of contradictions: ruffian / nice guy, obnoxiously arrogant / sweetly humble, hedonist / activist, "gangsta" / poet. And most interesting is that none of these "sides" of him seem at all false. He really is that complicated.
Being a fan of his, especially his acting, ("GRIDLOCK'd" is one of my favorite movies) I choose to remember the admirable parts of his personality more often, but I know that he was no angel, and I'm glad that "Tupac: Resurrection" doesn't try to paint him as a hero.
Made very much in the style of last year's great documentary "The Kid Stays In The Picture" (so much so that I was surprised there is no connection), it combines seamlessly edited footage, photos that "float" around to look 3-dimensional, well-chosen music, and fluid narration to create a dreamlike and slightly eerie portrait of one person's lifetime in his own words.
Unlike "The Kid Stays In The Picture", though, in "Tupac: Resurrection" the narrator telling his life story is dead.
Tupac is the one and only narrator of this film (through an edited collection of insightful interviews), and it's a distinctly poignant and eerie experience to hear it, almost like he is, "Sunset Boulevard"-style, telling you his story from beyond the grave. Adding to the "Sunset Boulevard" feeling is that the story starts in Las Vegas where he was killed, and then rewinds to the beginning of his life. But sadly, you know it's eventually going to end up in Las Vegas again.
This is an extremely well done, gripping documentary that I highly recommend even to people who don't care for rap music. Tupac's life story is a true American tragedy, and anyone can learn from those.