Don't Think

"Good"

Don't Think Review


Rather than make a documentary about the Chemical Brothers, filmmaker Smith captures a single concert in this vibrant film. Fans will love it, but since we never really see the musicians themselves, the film may test the patience of everyone else.

Some 20 cameras captured the Chemical Brothers' performance on 31 July 2011 at Japan's Fujirock Festival. Director Smith says, "I wanted to capture what it is like to experience the show from right in the middle of the crowd." And to a degree he accomplishes that, showing the concert from the audience's point of view, with a sense of wonder at the elaborate light show and visually arresting projected images that accompany the music while the musicians themselves hide in their electronic cocoon in the middle of the stage.

In addition, he turns his cameras on the crowd itself, picking out a few people to show repeatedly as they ecstatically enjoy the music. And this is only the first heavy-handed touch Smith indulges in, essentially telling us that we should be feeling the same sense of uncontrollable emotion. To augment this, he indulges in crashing edits, fast zooms and lots of visual trickery. But to be honest, a more traditional concert-film approach would have conveyed the experience much more effectively by not over-egging everything.

Because the music is genuinely thrilling, recorded with pristine clarity and depth on the soundtrack. The Chemical Brothers are Manchester duo Rowlands and Simons, who we occasionally see in their shadowy cluster of keyboards and computer screens. But most of the time we are watching the audience or the astonishingly oversized video images, which are seriously impressive on their own, especially when inventively combined with smoke, lights and a witty use of the location itself.

Clearly the crowd loves every minute of this amazing show. But as a cinema audience, it's not quite so accessible. Sitting in a theatre might be the closest many will come to this kind of epic concert performance, and the duo's followers will revel in the chance to experience the music in this way. But the wobbly camera movement, quick-cut edits and over-reliance on the amazing visual effects actually manages to undermine the Chemical Brothers' wonderfully textured music. And the fact that the film never properly portrays the musicians leaves newbies feeling completely left out.



Don't Think

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 4th September 2007

Distributed by: Universal Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Adam Smith

Producer: Marcus Lyall, Lee Groombridge

Starring: The Chemical Brothers as The Chemical Brothers

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