The Beatles: Get Back

The Beatles: Get Back ★★★★½

I wouldn't normally log a miniseries, but these 3 episodes are really only broken up to make the 8 hour bulk more manageable, and the trio are in reality one cohesive whole.

It's roughly a month of The Beatles as they conceive of and work out their Let it Be album, trying to squeeze some multi-media facet out of it by having a documentary crew on hand with the plans of some elaborate or original concert experience to finish it off.

Of course, hindsight makes this all brutally bittersweet. George leaves, comes back, they talk idly of "doing this forever. I can see us all old still playing together" (I paraphrase because I didn't note the exact quote but man what a gutpunch it is decades later.)

The future and the past converge on the documentary's present. We know where these boys (only 28! And they're already talking like they've been aged by their stardom) have been. We know what comes next--most prominently that by the end of the year they'd be broken up forever. Yet while watching, there's an immediacy to it, a complete immersion in that subjective NOW. It all swirls through your head as you watch, swimming in knowledge as you watch these artists live out the inevitable.

Do you get to know The Beatles better? In a way. It's almost impossible to bring them down to earth because their fame was so astronomical. It's apparent that even they don't know what to do with it. You see four men who have become more famous than a human can properly cope with, holding on the best they can, simply moving forward.

It's also wild to see them struggle and get frustrated and occasionally not give a damn as they grind out these songs until like an epiphany they're suddenly complete, satisfied in an instant. If you're hoping for some insight into how their minds worked to create their music...well, it still seems random and kind of magical, elusive.

And then they're on the rooftop, looking like they're having the times of their lives, all stresses and worries and dark futures shrugged off to be in that glorious moment of performance, lost in the beat and the chords.

And then just as suddenly it's over. The richest emptiness you'll ever feel watching a movie.

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