Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Doors

Movie Name: The Doors
Year of Release: 1991
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon, Michael Wincott, Michael Madsen, Mimi Rogers, Josh Evans, Kathleen Quinlan, Crispin Glover, Dennis Burkley, Billy Idol
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
After a tremendously successful output of films in the 80s, director Oliver Stone started the 90s with two distinct insights into the America of the 60s, firstly with "The Doors", followed by the galvanizing and potent "JFK". The film focuses on the rock band "The Doors", particularly on the iconic lead singer, Jim Morrison. The film introduces us to Jim as he's going to college, where he's studying film, and where he meets his future girlfriend, Pamela Courson. While at college he also meets Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore, forming the music band with all of them. As the band becomes progressively more well known, Jim's behavior becomes more erratic, due to his drug and alcohol consumption. As he gets involved in a series of other things, they all start taking a toll on his responsibilities towards the band, their performances and general perception, until his sudden death at age 27 (in 1971). 
Being from the same generation as Jim Morrison, Oliver Stone experienced the 60s, and tried to capture it and portray it through this film. And for the most part the film is an interesting perspective into the life of excess of a rock star, however it also is a very cliché ridden perspective, since it doesn't really give much dimension to Morrison, his band members, or the women in his life for that matter. Trying to capture so much of the decade, including people's experiments with drugs, the war on Vietnam, the civil rights movement, women's liberation, Oliver Stone really threw everything into this film, peppering it with some interesting cameos from recognizable faces (for instance, Andy Warhol), but the film ultimately feels hollow, since none of the characters actually have much depth to them. It's still an impeccably shot film (courtesy of Robert Richardson), and it features a crackling performance from Val Kilmer, who really owns the role, making Jim Morrison come to life in a charismatic way, even if the script doesn't give him that much to do. An unbalanced film from an interesting director.