After a break of more than 10 years, the legendary King of Pop was to return his rightful place and it was to be legendary. It was about 2 weeks before his first concert at O2 in London and the stage was set; the tickets sold out; ‘This Is It’ was to make history! Little did MJ know that ‘That Was It’! He suffered a cardiac arrest on the afternoon of June 25th, 12 days before the first of his series of concerts.
The first official release post his death, the film, a documentary rather, encapsulates his last moments as the King of Pop. This Is It shows all the recordings from the rehearsals for the much awaited concert, right from choosing the dance troupe to rehearsing on stage to recording for the video vignettes to be shown on stage. Though its release faced criticism from his family and fans, because it was wrong to profit from his death, others merely considered it a befitting tribute to the King of Pop and a inside look for his numerous fans. The film is currently the highest grossing concert movie in history.
What immediately caught my attention was how involved he was! He was present at the dance auditions and was seen personally choosing his dancers. What an achievement to be personally approved and chosen by someone who was definitely an idol for most present there! People traveled from across the globe to audition for the show, one even managed to fly down from Australia a day after hearing about the auditions! It was by far, the most awaited show of the year.
The documentary went on to record Jackson mentoring his team for the shows. What left a lasting impact was the video sequence for Earth Song, which shows a young girl walking through the forest and taking in the beauty and serenity of nature itself. What made me sit up and notice wasn’t the strong message being sent through the song, but how they planned to get that message across. The girl and the excavator on the stage at the end, made sure that the message was conveyed.
In the end, the film left me in awe at the concert that would have made history and would have once again established why Michael Jackson is the reigning King of Pop. To quote director Kenny Ortega “and Michael’s back on the cherry picker!” His fans didn’t miss his on-stage comeback – This Is It was exactly that!