Michael Jackson and This Is It

In Creating Happiness by Barbara Jacoby

I have never been a Michael Jackson “fan” and I am not really very familiar with his music.  However, my husband purchased tickets for the movie over a month ago when they first went on sale and I was really rather curious to see it.  Earlier this week I spoke with people who had seen it and people who knew others who had seen it and I heard how great it was but when I asked what it was about, I kept hearing that I would have to see it for myself to understand.

This is not a movie that you go to see but rather an experience that you have.  Before the movie started, there were young people yelling and cheering, “Yay, Michael” and I expected that this may very well continue throughout the movie.  After all, it was a Friday night.  But once, the movie started, it got really quiet and pretty much stayed that way except for an occasional bit of laughter and the light applause that happened at the end of some of the songs. Other than that, you could tell that the audience was completely wrapped up in moment.

Knowing that this movie was made from rehearsal footage took away any expectations that I had regarding the hugeness that I expected from what would have been the actual stage performance.  Yet for me, It took on a hugeness in its own way because it became all about Michael Jackson, not only as a performer but also as a person, and it captures the essence of the man.  You didn’t care about the clothes that he was wearing or the special effects that were not there or the fact that the songs were not performed from start to finish in a polished way.  It was no wonder that people weren’t able to describe the movie.  I can’t either but I will tell you that I walked away with an understanding of Michael Jackson that could never have been achieved in any other arena except knowing him as a personal friend.

This movie is wrapped around pure, raw emotion and love and caring about what you are doing, not only emitting from Michael but also from every single one of the cast and crew of the show.  Michael truly lived his music, wrapped himself around every word and note and made it so very special.  It was the emotion that resulted that had everyone else on the set becoming completely drawn in which then drew in all of the audience members.  Everyone was held captive in the moment and stayed that way throughout the entire experience.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone.  You don’t have to be a Michael Jackson fan to appreciate it.  This piece is an experience to be felt on so many different levels.  You will get to know Michael Jackson in a way that you would never have been able to do so by attending a concert with thousands of other screaming fans while being so far away from the stage.  Seeing him on screen in a larger than life setting allows you to feel what he was feeling, to understand from where he was pulling each beat of the music and to appreciate not only the talent of this man but also his very essence.  Despite everything that I have seen or heard in the press about Michael Jackson in the past, I will never view him again in any other light than what I brought away from that movie.  He was unique, caring, loving, vibrant and exquisite in the way that he viewed the world and shared his very essence with all of us.  What a treasure!

As always, I love your comments.