"A Very Strange Look at Bob Dylan’s Life"
What You Need To Know:
Sadly, the movie mostly serves as nothing more than an artistic vehicle for the director as well as a tremendous performance opportunity for Cate Blanchett, who shines in her portrayal of Dylan’s more troubled persona. Adding to the “message” of this artistic, off-beat movie are an excessive amount of nudity, sexuality, drug abuse, language and politically correct overtones. The movie does not, however, mock Dylan’s conversion to Christianity.
(PaPa, HH, PCPC, AP, ACap, Fe, Ho, CC, BB, LLL, V, SS, NNN, AA, DD, MM) Strong mixed pagan worldview with strong humanist, politically correct elements following the civil unrest of the 1960s and 1970s including some anti-patriotic and anti-capitalist elements, especially toward the Vietnam War, as well as some references to feminism, homosexuality and some brief but strong and positive Christian elements and moral and biblical aspects including a Christian service seen in a positive light, man converts to Christianity, references to Scripture, and references to God and prayer; 30 obscenities, two profanities and one obscene gesture; light violence depicted as two men wrestle with boy to get his guitar case away from him, man is sliced on the cheek by a knife and another man is knocked out with a vase, a circus performer bites a head off of a chicken and a motorcycle wreck; depicted fornication, depicted marital sex, man adulterously gropes woman, and some kissing; upper male nudity, full frontal male nudity, rear male nudity, upper female nudity, and rear female nudity; light alcohol use and drunkenness depicted; drug use and abuse depicted; and, miscellaneous immorality includes lying, character portrayed as a con man and stowaways on train.
I’M NOT THERE is an artistic dramatization of the life and music of Bob Dylan, told from the lives of seven different people who each assume a portion of the music icon’s enigmatic persona. Assuming the various perspectives of his storied and troubled life, from poet to social prophet to outlaw to fake to rock star to born-again Christian, Dylan’s life gets the A-list treatment in this movie from stars like Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Heath Ledger.
Following no particular plot, the movie jumps around between stories of Dylan’s life as a wayward traveler, a youth with glorious musical aspirations, a folk singer hero to the working class, a nihilistic rock star, an actor with troubled relationships, and a born-again Christian who has left behind his folk music legacy for the Gospel. Set amidst the backdrop of the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, the movie tends to drift toward being a social commentary about the impact of the arts on culture at large.
Sadly, the movie misses out on being a true-to-life biography of one of the more influential musicians in modern American culture. Also, tragically, rather than being a truly poignant look at the impact of the entertainment media on culture, the movie itself serves as nothing more than an artistic vehicle for the director as well as a tremendous performance opportunity for Cate Blanchett, who shines in her portrayal of Dylan’s more existentially-troubled persona.
Adding to the so-called “message” of this artistic, off-beat movie are an excessive amount of nudity, sexuality, drug abuse, language and politically correct overtones. I’M NOT THERE is what most media-wise audience members will be saying on opening day of this forgettable art-house movie.