Written by Alexander Reams
There are two types of people in this world, those who acknowledge The Beatles as not only one of the most influential bands, but one of the (objectively) best rock bands of all time, and those who haven’t acknowledged this yet. Those who do acknowledge this, like myself, were very excited to see what Peter Jackson has given us. Those familiar with Jackson’s work know he enjoys long-form storytelling. Clocking in at a total of 468 minutes spread across 3 episodes, that might as well be considered films. While in-depth, it can be too long. Jackson’s epic, spanning 3 elongated “films”, focuses on 4 main characters, and is built on the back of an amazing restoration. I could be describing the 4K restoration of Lord of the Rings, alas I am not, instead, it’s his latest foray into documentary filmmaking with The Beatles: Get Back. Following his universally acclaimed They Shall Not Grow Old with a story that chronicles the 22-day span where The Beatles recorded their iconic (and my personal favorite of theirs) album Let it Be, previously titled Get Back.
It is a strange time for the band, John Lennon has married Yoko Ono, much to Paul, George, and Ringo’s dismay. She has clearly had an effect on him. His style of music and entire personality has changed. On January 2, 1969, the band assembled. Meeting at Twickenham Studios to record the album. Over the next 22 days, they dealt with tensions, egos, and belief differences. While this is interesting to watch, it loses its intrigue after the 4th or 5th hour. At this point in the show, everything begins to blend together in a mesh that becomes incomprehensible. Jackson is known for his extended runtimes, and here his hubris finally gets in his own way of telling a story. Thankfully the film goes out on a higher note with a brilliant concert sequence that left me on an emotional high. While I did feel that high, once it wore off, I just remembered the overlong runtime. A shame, but still a fantastic documentary that I do not regret spending 8 hours on.
The Beatles: Get Back Trailer