Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Doors


The Doors; Drama, USA, 1991; D: Oliver Stone, S: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon, Kathleen Quinlan, Billy Idol

A biography of Jim Morrison: after quiting the University of California, Los Angeles, because students booed his pretentious art film, he teams up with Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore to form a band, "The Doors". They write their first song, "Light My Fire", which advances into a hit when they perform in numerous clubs. As his fame grows, so does Morrison's ego and hermetic symbolism, who starts showing signs of insanity not only on stage due to excessive use of alcohol and drugs. He even shouts he is the "Lizard king". His girlfriend Pam finds him one day dead in a bathtub at the age of 27.

"The Doors" is a wild, rebellious, psychedelic and restless biopic about the lead singer of the eponymous rock 'n' roll band: director Oliver Stone tried to match his 'rough' directorial expression with the subject of the story, yet nobody could have expected a family friendly movie about Jim Morrison, anyway. The movie gained certain plus points for choosing a very good lead, Val Kilmer, which combined with the legendary song "Light My Fire" and a few genius moments - when one reporter asks him what he thinks about being labeled as a "Barbie Doll", Morrison replies with: "I guess it's a shortcut to thinking"; upon the instructions of a TV station to replace the word "higher" in their song with something more conservative, Ray decided to comply because "it is just a word", but Morrison is against it, saying: "Why don't you just call yourself Sydney or Irving? It's just a word, too" - managed to engage the viewers. However, the thing that makes them boil, in the wrong direction, is depiction of Morrison as an avant-garde artist who gets so lost with experimenting in Godard and Brecht fashion until he 'burns out' as a short-circuit. Some of these maniacal outbursts will test the patience of the audience and are thus not for everyone's taste.

Grade:++

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