by Angela Robledo
As countless audience members piled into the theatre, the room was silent as fans anticipated the film that would give them a peek inside their hero’s life in his last musical days. As the opening credits rolled, I could hear the anxious bites of popcorn and see the nervous bites of nails. “This Is It” is the film that depicts the gone-too-soon idol in his honest role of performer and friend. Michael Jackson made many dreams come true with the announcement of his London tour, however many fans in the United States were unaware of just how much tenuous work was put in to the project.
Through this film, we had the opportunity to see just that: a wise man’s work for a project he was passionate about. With cameras there in moments usually unseen, I discovered that Jackson is not the man the tabloids expose him to be. Instead of the high voiced and slightly outrageous person depicted on magazine covers, he is actually a musician with a good sense of humor, a sensitive heart, and killer dance moves (but we already knew that one).
Known for his groundbreaking music videos and explosive shows, Jackson ensured the “This Is It” London tour was to be nothing short of spectacular. As a film buff myself, I had a great appreciation for the music videos to be used as song intros. In one introducing the hit “Smooth Criminal,” Jackson is in the middle of Chicago during the prohibition era battling with renowned black and white actor Humphrey Bogart. Had it not been for this movie, the mass creativity and resources already put in to this tour would have remained unknown. Fans in the audience watched intently as they watched a great show come to life before their eyes. While it’s a shame this tour had to be cancelled due to Jackson’s untimely and devastating death, the film aided in bringing his legacy to life once again.
During the movie I could not grasp the fact that this motivational artist was simply gone; his spirit was very much alive on the big screen. His dancing and majesty on stage was skillfully captured, and fans could not help but clap and sing along with the hits we all know so well. Not a foot in the room could refrain from tapping. “Man in the Mirror” played as we saw Jackson holding hands with his dancers, thanking them for being a part of it all. His love and sincerity was evident as he brought them in for a group hug. The film ended in a freeze frame of Jackson with his arms out wide, embracing the fulfillment of the end of a song. The picture stayed on screen for a long moment, allowing fans to remember this image that described the passionate man so well. Eyes were dried, and immediately the theatre broke out in applause.
I left the theatre with bittersweet feelings: inspired by a man’s dedication to his creativity and inspirations in life, and sad that such a trivial person was gone so soon. “This Is It” is a tremendous film that allows fans around the world to forever remember Michael Jackson and his legacy as a beautiful human and motivational artist.
-A perfect four stars out of four-