Monday, August 13, 2018

Movie Review: "McQueen" (2018)

Director: Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

A look at the life of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

"He was deeply looking to understand everything." (Image Source)
As Lao Tzu said, "the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long." Few flames in the fashion world have burned brighter than Alexander McQueen's. The documentary "McQueen" is directed by Ian Bonhôte and is co-directed by the film's writer Peter Ettedgui. It tells the story of fashion designer Alexander McQueen through interviews with his friends, family, co-workers, and through stock footage of McQueen himself. It looks into how McQueen went from living a modest middle-class family life in England to becoming the hottest new talent in the fashion industry. From there, we learn about more intimate details of his life, his blossoming fashion career, and what may have led to his eventual tragic suicide.
"I get very scared when he picks up the scissors. He's ready to cut things up." (Image Source)
In many ways, Alexander McQueen's life as told by writer Peter Ettedgui is a pretty standard rags-to-riches true story, though McQueen was never really in rags. He was a self-made man who got noticed through his hard work, his unstoppable perseverance, and his immense talent. As a film, this is a very standard documentary shot in a very rudimentary way. Luckily, McQueen's clothing tells an entirely different story. His fashion sense was shocking, provocative, unique, and iconic. This film is loaded with footage of McQueen's fashion shows, each one darker and more anguished than the last. The best part of this documentary for us was seeing the beauty and the bold artistic look of his designs and experiencing how cool they looked traipsing across a runway. Off the runway stage, we hear about how Alexander McQueen fought with some very dark demons that ruled his life in ways no one, not even those closest to him, could fully see.

In terms of enjoyability, BigJ didn't think this story was very compelling apart from McQueen's runway looks. I personally don't care much about the fashion world, but to me, this portrait of a man with so much sadness and so many deep, sinister scars drove me to want to learn more about such a compelling figure and his history in the fashion business. "McQueen" unpacks the psychological aspects of McQueen's demons, which directly fueled his artistry in disturbing but innovative ways.
"It was about sabotage and tradition, which is the perfect combination." (Image Source)
One cannot deny that Alexander McQueen was one of the most talented, alluring fashion designers to ever live. He shook the industry in more ways than anyone can imagine. Though it can be interesting and engaging, we wish "McQueen" has been a bit bolder and daring like its subject.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.4/10
RT Rating: ~100%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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