You knew I was going to see this. I had to. It was a form of closure for me.
I say these things in all seriousness. Some people don’t like Michael Jackson, don’t understand Michael Jackson, don’t particularly appreciate Michael Jackson, but I do. I really do. He was my first favorite artist, he was a special, special man, and no amount of “little boys” or “plastic surgery” arguments will change that.
This is not a film, really. It’s a tribute. It’s a bunch of archived rehearsal footage sewn together into a logical sequence. It tells no story. It has no meaning. In fact, it’s purely self-indulgent for the fans. You learn something from watching it, but it has no Life Lesson. If you aren’t a fan, don’t see it.
If you are a fan, however, please do. It’s beautifully simple. And it’s magical. It’s magical to watch this withered, muscular shell of a man move in a pair of baggy sweats and an oversized metallic jacket. It’s magical to watch him audition dancers and teach choreography and instruct musicians and joke with producers. He was a real person, and this is one of the only pieces of evidence that can attest to that.
One of the reasons why I never want to be famous is because I would lose my ability to have a real personality. People like Regis Philbin and Paris Hilton and whoever aren’t even famous. They’re personalities because they’ve got some weird character trait that’s been magified for the world to see, and it has to be consistent otherwise people will think they’re irrelevant or they’ve gone off the deep end. And most other celebs have no real personality. They’d rather be known for their work than their person. It’s respectable. Michael Jackson was the biggest celebrity of all time. His music was so good that people needed a personality to latch onto. And it’s too bad, because he was a freakin’ weird guy. But a lot of people can get away with being weird — Gallagher, for example, or Weird Al. It’s in his name. But MJ was an anomaly. A phenomenon. Cut from a single piece of cloth. So his avenue for normalcy was his work — the part that people could relate to, and that’s what you see in this footage. You see a man who is arrogant, humble, immaculate, lazy, human. You see him rehearse the “Thriller” dance so perfectly, and yet with so little effort. He could do it in his sleep — hell, he could have done it paralyzed — and he still rehearses it. He has the campiest taste in the world — but it’s brilliant.
It’s so sad to think that we’ll never get to see this spectacular show he was planning. But I do feel like I got a backstage pass, and that’s the best gift I could hope for. Christmas came early this year — but, unfortunately, so did Michael’s time.