|Index||2 reviews in total|
Often inspiring biographical documentary about Bob Forrest, lead singer
and songwriter for the late 80s LA critical darling Thelonius Monster
and his battle with addiction, leading him to become an outspoken and
passionate advocate for helping get people off drugs.
It's good to see a drugs and rock 'n' roll documentary that shows someone surviving, coming out the other side, and not only learning from his plunge, but using his knowledge of suffering to help others, There's some real inventiveness amidst the talking heads: animation, both claymation and line drawings help flesh out Bob's experiences. Interviews with Bob's friends and band mates from the late 80s L. A. inde rock/punk scene including Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Courtney Love let us in to both Bob's bravery, and what a total jerk he was when drugs and anger ruled his life.
Yet, for all it's power, there's something a little too neat about the documentary. Or maybe it's that it tries to cover too much Bob's whole musical career from the very start, his slow rise to rock semi-stardom to his collapse into selling out, his childhood, the whole arc of his drug addiction, from his obsession to the idea of drugs as a depressed young guy, to working as a dishwasher when he was finally trying to get clean, and then his whole life post drugs, from being lost in the wilderness, to discovering his voice as a drug counselor and advocate, and re-discovering his love of playing music, not to be a star, but for the joy of it. That's a lot to jam into an 87 minute documentary, and sometimes it feels like important details are being skipped over. It can also fall into making Bob too much of a saint, there's sort of a fan- boy air to it, For all those around him being willing to talk about how awful Bob was at his addicted low, there's a little too much of the hagiography to the current version of Bob, a man I suspect is still more complex, maybe even difficult than the film lets on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Keirda Bahruth documents Bob Forrest's journey from the LA punk+rock scene in the 80s through his lowest points as an addict, to his decision to get help, and ultimately pursue a career as substance abuse therapist in Hollywood (literally at the same intersection where he used to shoot-up). This film is perfectly paced, and keeps a good balance between celebrity interviews which help describe Bob's past, and documents Bob's current life which entails taking calls/meeting w/addicts, even during filming of this documentary...which you learn ultimately helps keep him clean/sober to this day. Fun...Inspirational...Educational.
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