Many other documentaries focus on one story, told in different parts by people related to the subject. There is very little music or excitement in them. A documentary about Kurt Cobain had better be playing Nirvana nonstop. Not only that, but the film features popular music from his childhood and live performances, and even includes arrangements of songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit. Certain guitar parts or vocals are isolated and played to create certain moods over a scene. The entire soundtrack is quite genius actually.
The interviews are told by people that are generally well known to Nirvana fans and the public. Krist Novecelic (Nirvana's bassist) and Courtney Love (Cobain's wife) are amongst several people who contribute to the story, along with Kurt's parents and the muse of Nevermind, Kurt's ex-girlfriend Tracy. Each person has another heartbreaking piece of the Cobain legacy. As stated before though, this isn't the only way the story is told.
The home movies and recordings are pieced together in this amazing time line that lay most of Kurt's life out on the screen. Kurt Cobain was a mystery to the world. He told such extravagant stories and lied because, as the voice of Kurt explains, he was bullied as a child and wanted to make himself "cool". First of all, hearing him talk about being bullied possesses such a humanizing effect, Kurt seems like another run of the mill faceless kid, which is exactly what he was before Nirvana. And also, it is such a refreshing way to hear a story. Rather than be told one opinion of the man by people who knew him, the viewer can watch, god like, over the story and form their own opinion.
For the parts of his life that were not recorded, Kurt's digital journal was used as the narration for an animated version of 1980's Aberdeen, 1990's Seattle, and everywhere he was in-between. The story is interesting to be heard with an artists rendition to help the viewer visualize the story better.
Listening to Kurt's voice on these stories is amazing, while being a little demented. It's a great strategy to get the audience closer, but while some of the audio clips were from interviews, some sounded as if they were recorded journal entries. Almost as if everyone watching the film was reading his diary.
Kurt was quoted saying that he never wanted all the fame. People constantly trying to figure him out and get in his head made him uncomfortable all the time. Had Cobain himself seen the film, he probably would've hated it. Every aspect of this poor man's life was too chaotic for a perfectly strong person to handle. Kurt was a sad boy at heart who had a broken brain and a rotting stomach. Every single morning, he would wake up to a swarm of thoughts constantly stinging him like yellow jackets. Which makes Montage of Heck a perfect title for a story about the tragedy of Cobain. Rather than focus on the band and his contribution to rock and roll, Montage brings the viewer into the enigmatic mind of Nirvana's front man. From the beginning where he was a giddy, creative, and loving little kid, to the end where the weight of being the worlds biggest rock star makes him want to taste the shell of a shotgun blast. The legend of Kurt Cobain is a difficult thing to capture, but Montage of Heck does an exceptional job of telling it.