The life story of grunge icon Kurt Cobain is told in Montage of Heck.
The creative and damaged soul of Kurt Cobain is brought home in the documentary, Montage of Heck. After years of waiting, children of the grunge era get a focused look inside Kurt's personality, his hyper mindset and the tragic self inflicted downfall of our generation's John Lennon. Loaded with bootleg style concert footage, old school photos, and era specific videos, viewers are taken back to a time when lyrics mattered and artistry once again made a flannel wearing stand emblazoned by stage dives and distorted guitars.
This revealing and emotively charged documentary captures the early years right through the depressing end. Through archive footage, interviews, animation, photography, and art, the sad tale of Cobain is presented in a new light that will break hearts and will ignite more interest in the man and the musician. Montage of Heck would definitely have Cobain's sharp witted stamp of approval. It's an imaginative piece that combines Kurt's story into an amalgamation of his drawings, notes, and lyrical content, while never straying too far from the core story.
Through current interviews with family members, former band mates, and numerous other people,
Montage of Heck feels natural and never deliberately forced. The film tells of Kurt's life long struggle with genius and his stifling childhood in a captivating and heartfelt manner without over dramatizing. With that said, finally getting a real idea of his youth and his early experimentation with drugs, sex, and booze is an eye opening experience that sets the stage for the dispiriting last half of the movie.
The second half dives headlong into Kurt's addiction, battles with the press, his super sensitivity to criticism, and his sad marriage to life sucking Courtney Love. In usual fashion, Love comes across as a self rewarding leech whose impressions of herself are far greater than any of the songs that inhabit the entire Hole catalog. Yet, she's probably the most important piece of the puzzle. From the point that she enters the picture, the documentary shifts focus alongside Kurt's descent into heroin induced madness.
Music fans will fully enjoy the archive footage of a youthful Nirvana playing hometown gigs and the grunge era rags to riches story. However, a noticeably still shaken Krist Novoselic is hard to watch. During interviews, Krist's decades long pain can be felt and his apparent struggle to cope with Kurt's death is extremely hard to enjoy as entertainment. This man is still deeply affected by the death of his long lost friend and musical cohort. Despite his weighted sense of loss, the discussion with Novoselic gives viewers a real sense of the creative brotherhood that was shared between them. Unfortunately, key player Dave Grohl's input is nowhere to be found.
As a self professed rock and roll documentary addict, this is one of the best I've ever seen. If you experienced the grunge movement or you're interested in the legacy of Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck is the best out there. From humble beginnings to drug addled super stardom, one thing is for certain. There will never be another Kurt Cobain.