Movie Review by Dr Kuma
Starring: Robbie Williams
Director: Brian Hill
2001 has left it late with it’s really good movies, but will bow out as a year that saw the real old style Hollywood epic making it’s return with LORD OF THE RINGS. What 2001 has produced however, have been two of the most fascinating ‘rockumentary’s’ for many a year. The first of these was the excellent remastered ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS, which showed Elvis at virtually his creative peak, with all cylinders firing at once. The second, and a bigger surprise than it’s illustrious predecessor is NOBODY SOMEDAY, which follows Robbie Williams on his European tour. This really is a suprisingly effective film, which again, shows a star at the height of his powers, but at his lowest ebb (a la Elvis on Tour). Robbie comes across as a very self-critical person, which at first, you think is a ploy to get the audience on his side. However, you realise that once you scratch the surface, there are indeed many facets to the rock and roll diamond geezer that is Mr Williams.
At the start of the film, Robbie tells us that he hates being a pop star, always has done and dreads treading the stage in his own Ziggy Stardust kind of way. At one point he says, “I want to be Iggy Pop”, but I end up looking like Norman Wisdom”. It seems the Robbie Williams we see is not the same Robbie his friends know – although we never really get the chance to hear what they think of him or hear their opinions. It seems that Robbie feels he is merely living out other people’s fantasies and that he is merely the puppet. The film steadily charts the 27 year olds realisation that you don’t need drugs to have a good time and enjoy yourself, which is a good thing, as it was following the Sid and Nancy / Curt and Courtney route of a love affair that went tragically wrong, filling more headline space. The good news though kids is that this is a happy love story and our Robbie falls back in love with the person that he loves most (after his Gran) and they save him from the sordid headline he hates. That person, of course is himself. As he says, ” what’s better than going out onto stage in front of 13,000 people saying “I’m fab” and they all agree!”
This is a fascinating film, which will appeal to serious music fans as well as those just going to hear ‘Angels’ yet again. It will however, miss a lot of core fans, as the air is as full of blue language is it is with white noise.
The most fascinating part of the film is where a deranged fan pushes Robbie from the stage into his fans over ten feet below. Obviously, not only could this have crippled him, if this person had been carrying a knife, The Rolling Stones ‘Gimme Shelter’ would have been joined in the ‘fatality at the gig ultimate ending’ stakes. Instead it is to Robbie’s credit that he finishes the gig and shows genuine concern for those around him. This could be the point where Robbie stopped feeling sorry for himself. The deranged fan cited that he did it because “The real Robbie Williams wasn’t on stage, but an Impostor”. Perhaps it took something as serious as this to make Robbie realise that perhaps the fan was right as after that point, we see Robbie becoming the real showman he is who sings, quite rightly “Let me entertain you”. He does, but even when he’s down, or perhaps just being himself, he’s still interesting. Remember – ‘sad songs say so much’ my little poppers and with this Robbie just shows enough to keep us thinking ‘I’d like to have a drink with Robbie DOH! We Can’t! He’s teetotal, but never boring, just high on life again pop fans!
The movie is very well directed but all credit should go to the director of photography Simon Niblett who does an excellent job. I would also like to say well done to Guy Chambers, for well, just about everything Mr Williams has vocalised.
This is one of those rare things. A tour documentary featuring a flavour of the month, but with his three albums going platinum 23 times, Robbie’s documentary is not so much of a flash in the pan, more of a snatch of the man. Loved by blokes and women alike and perhaps (gay headline shock) visa versa, but hasn’t tried it yet he tells us. That puts the Geri story out of the window then.