“In the script, John’s character had much more dialogue than he does in the movie. I took most of his lines away because this idea of Bluto as kind of — you know, I told him to channel Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. It’s just appetite. And what Belushi had that was so great.. you actually can watch his thought process. You know. You can see the ideas seeping through his skull. But what both the Cookie Monster and Harpo have, despite their destructive tendencies, is they’re both very, very sweet. And that’s the strength of John’s performance.” – John Landis
Number of Times Seen – 1 (29 Nov 2020)
Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the tragically young life and death of comedian John Belushi.
My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about a few months ago and was quite keen to finally see because I am such of fan of the early days of Saturday Night Live along with Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1980).
This documentary is quite powerful and informative about the life and rising career of John Belushi and lets us get such a great perspective on things.
The choice to not use talking head interviews, but rather to solely rely upon audio conversations with some of the people directly related to Belushi’s career enhances things because we get to hear the audio along with images on the screen that are so very related and connected to the continuity of his career span that was over in a bit more than a flash.
The film has an impressive number of interviews with his colleagues and family members, but what is more glaring are the absence of some of his frequent co-stars which include Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.
This is a documentary that finds a way to give a no holds bar look at the tragic arc of Belushi’s life and career and we get to see how these things occurred from first hand knowledge of those who knew him best but were unable to foresee or stop things from reaching such an end.
Bottom Line – Very powerful and informative documentary that is able to say so much about the life and career of Belushi. The choice to not use talking heads at all works really well because it allows us to hear the voices of the interviewees while still seeing related images on the screen as part of the continuity of it all. The number of people interviewed that had string connections to Belushi and his career is quite impressive, but those that were absent are even more glaring. The film is able to give us a full picture of who he was and how this kind of tragedy can occur which is quite unfortunate. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Bill Hader performs the voice of John Belushi. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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