Is It Really So Strange?
From his early stint as the singer for the Smiths to his wildly successful solo career, alternative-music icon Morrissey has spawned a fanatical cult following that reaches from his native shores of England all the way to the United States. In this music documentary produced to find out just what drives Morrissey's loyal legions of fans, filmmakers trace the origins of the singer's popularity back to the days when such now-classic Smiths songs as "This Charming Man" and "How Soon is Now?" ushered in a whole new era of modern rock. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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And unless you are an absolutely fanatical Moz fan, you will quickly lose patience with this documentary. The people who are interviewed are great [well, for the most part], but the doc is put together so badly that it's a struggle not to lose interest in it. Such as: NO music is used in the actual film, except for at the very end, which begs the question, if you can play a Smiths song over the credits, why couldn't you play any during the actual film? and if you couldn't play any due to licensing, etc., why not play some music by the Smiths cover band or have someone pick up a guitar or something or play some music, even Mexican music, that is evocative of Morrissey's?
Then there is the voiceover by Mr. Jones, who may be good getting people together for interviews, but he's not a terribly engaging fellow and his narrative is painful to listen to -- it's slow and plodding and his voice has no personality to it whatsoever. Then we get to watch him talk about how he found the Smiths, while he sllloooowllly flips through a few Smiths albums. And then, and then, he puts the records on, and ... nothing - no sound, no music, just the sound of people screaming. The interviews could have been better, as well. It's like he started doing a 'Latin cult of Morrissey' doc, but then he veers off here and there, interviews non-Latinos but then in the end comes back to the Latino Morrissey scene. This documentary could have been split up into about three or four separate films [with music, hopefully] on different fan groups.
The interviews sometimes are odd, as well, since someone will be talking and the camera will focus on their cat, or their family photos on the wall.
This wasn't an altogether horrible film, but it needed a different narrator, an editor, some music and a better interviewer. It is nice, though, to hear other people, most of them pretty thoughtful and intelligent, talk about Morrissey. The conclusion that Jones makes at the end, that the 'Morrissey scene' is over, is untrue, but I guess it gives him an easy way to end the film. The scene with the little kid dancing in front of the Moz poster is cute, though.