I remember the first time I watched the documentary, This is it. It was in a Kettering (UK) cinema with a handful of people openly and loudly crying.
I was pissed that I succumbed to the hype and paid money to watch the film in the first place – the dirt had barely settled on Michael’s grave and people had already started exploiting him all over again. But I can’t talk because, to my eternal regret, I bought a ticket to the London shows.
Putting aside my uber Michael Jackson fan hat and giving the people behind the documentary the benefit of the doubt, I get what they were trying to accomplished. This film was their proof that, if it were not for his death, the show would have been a success. This was proof that Michael Jackson still had it – he still had some of his magic left.
This point is best made during the rehearsals for The way you make me feel. To see Michael be so particular about this performance was heart-warming. He left nothing to chance, he wanted everything to be right – down to the way the keyboardist played his riff and the growl that signaled the end of the intro.
With that said, I can’t re-watch the film without having a metaphorical cloud hanging over me. Michael looks so frail and ill throughout the whole documentary. At some points he looks lucid and masterful, the rest of the time he looks… meh, I don’t know – not right. Watching the Billie Jean sequence was just horrible for me – hindsight is a wonderful thing, but to me he looks like he shouldn’t have been there. If anyone involved with the show really cared for him, they would have put an end to proceedings… but they didn’t.
I know Michael Jackson was a grown ass man and I realise that the lion’s share of the responsibility for what happened to him must be placed on his own soul – but I still can’t help but be angry about this documentary.
This documentary was on a couple of times over the Christmas period and I found it hard to watch, it felt like I was watching Jack Skellington and that filled me with so much sadness.