Director: Cast: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kathleen Quinlan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Actor Val Kilmer takes on the role as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's electrifying profile of The Doors, the story that unfolds from the group’s inception to its demise with the death of the "Lizard King". Val Kilmer gives an amazing performance, a highly enjoyable biopic about Jim Morrison. Unlike other biopics, he even sings.His portrayal of Morrison was praised and real members of The Doors noted that Kilmer did such a convincing job that they had trouble distinguishing his voice from their founder Jim Morrison's.
The story goes back to the days when Morrison was just a simpleton hanging out at the beach writing poetry. With time his band The Doors gets famous, notorious more so for Morrison as the focus of all the attention. With success also came problems, as Morrison’s drug consumption, erratic behavior and alcoholism coupled with beautiful blondes affected the rest of the band namely Ray Manzarek (Kyle McLachalan), John Densmore (Kevin Dillon), and Robby Krieger (Frank Whaley) who began to grow tired of his late arrivals, the increasing number of cancellations, and the drunken recording sessions requiring infinite retakes.
On his personal side the film focuses on two women in his life the journalist Patricia Kennealy (Kathleen Quinlan) and the fragile Pamela Courson (Meg Ryan). Most memorable is the shot when the Pamela his real sweetheart accuses Jim of having an affair with Pat. “Did you stick your dick into this one too?” shouts Pam, while a cool and calm Jim replies in the affirmative.
Beautifully captured is his take on the police minutes before he could go on stage. Caught necking Pat in one of the rooms, the police spray him in the eyes. This vent up anger he brings to the stage recounting the attack to his thousands of fans at the concert. At another gig - a 1969 Miami concert, he gets arrested for profanity and nudity for exposing his private parts, and though he receives a sentence of 6 months in a country jail, he manages to get away with a $ 50,000 bail bond. Brilliant, impulsive and hyper sensitive, Morrison lived in an alternate zone, oscillating between a luminous public life and a dark personal life punctured by depression and agony. Morrison was a living icon, catapulted into a raging sea of adulation and fame while in his early twenties. He could never come to terms with his own fame and influence, sinking into a quicksand to his own poetic creation. He was the mythmaker, who sang about sex, doom, the revolution of death, and the other side of it. Morrison lived his music … drinking recklessly, hallucinating on cocaine … breaking all speed limits on the fast lane.
Nobody knows what happened on the night of 2nd July 1971. He along with girlfriend Pamela moved over to Paris. That was the last time they were seen together. Back from a gig a clean shaven Morrison lies motionless in a bathtub due to an overdose of heroin. The movie stops at the grave resting in Paris's PFre-Lachaise Cemetery. Jim was only 27.
The Doors is a thrilling spectacle. One of the better productions from the 60s era that also captures the magnificent music of the Doors, brilliant to the core. Thirty seven years after his death, Jim Morrison can still convince an audience that his music rocks. The background score has songs like ‘Roadhouse Blues’, Riders on the Storm’ to live versions of ‘Touch me’, Light My Fire’, ‘L.A. Woman’ and the top of all of them ‘Break on Through’.
Running Time: 138 minutes
Reviewed By Verus Ferreira