|Image via: Mr Leon Taylor|
Get ready for an amazing bio-pic that’s one part concert film, one part historical memoir but all wonderfully woven together to create an uplifting journey through the life of James Brown, played expertly by Chadwick Boseman – who’s splits training regime alone, must of been intense. Boseman (‘42’) is magnificent, bringing a human, even tender side to one of the most recognised figures of music history. While director Tate Taylor has lapped his Academy Award studded and nominated work in The Help and I imagine Get On Up will be getting some recognition from the little gold statue brigade come 2015 too. James Brown has always been a larger than life character from my perspective; and this is a gritty look at Brown’s highs and also his crushing losses and defeats. Chadwick’s portrayal of ‘The Godfather of Soul’ is well accomplished, taking us from Brown’s tough-is-an-understatement childhood, to his burgeoning status with The Famous Flames, to the height of his funky powers, through to his 1993 national US tours; dished out in a dizzying yet slick narrative that dances back and forward through time as 1993 real-time Brown approaches the stage door, pre-performance. Taylor brings a lot of his The Help cast along for the ride on this one, especially with the quality pairing to Boseman brought by Nelsan Ellis, playing Bobby Byrd, friend and band mate to Brown.
Ahh so fun! If you’ve not heard the term ‘Breaking the fourth wall’ before, get ready for something fun, cause you’re going to know exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Breaking the fourth wall’ is when a character in a play or film will share a look with or speak directly to the audience; this comes from the idea that when you look at a screen or the set of a play you see three sides forming the space the actors occupy, leaving the fourth wall as being us, the audience. When a character acknowledges the audience, either by clever dialogue to other characters or even by looking directly into the camera – they are breaking the fourth wall. Get On Up has some truly amazing parts where Chadwick Boseman
allows James Brown to breakthe fourth wall in some very poignant and also totally kickass moments, reaching out to audiences across the globe again and speaking directly to them. Some other ‘breaking the fourth wall’ moments you might enjoy for example are in Home Alone or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Breaking the fourth wall is in narrative real time generally, but in some films and TV there is occasional fourth wall breaking, in and out of narrative and Meta time – think Quantum Leap or the antics of Abed in Community.