How wonderful is Netflix! documentary about george michael abandoned

The only thing that exceeds the awards George Michael has collected over the years is how many movies and documentaries were made about his life before his death, not even after.

so in netflix’s new Wow! The documentary, directed by Chris Smith, decided to focus solely on Michael’s early years with the band, for precisely this reason.

He explained, “This movie is about Wham!” radio times, “It’s about that time period. So it wasn’t about everything that happened after that. It was really just about that. I mean there could be a lot of other movies going forward on his life, But it was what we focused on.”

This makes sense, at least to some extent. Andrew Ridgeley’s role in this story is actually often overlooked, as many films build up to their climax! years to focus on George Michael the Superstar™.

But focusing on this and only this does a disservice to the whole story, especially when the film itself doesn’t go particularly deep in the first place.

George Michael in Wham Pop Group with Andrew Ridgley

Getty Images

The scrapbook format is beautiful, and the Wham! It is interesting to hear about the early years of however what is missing is the truth Back The joy that George and Andrew derived from reaching the top of the charts.

Smith explained, “I think it’s a beautiful story about friendship.” radio times, “There is something really life-affirming in this story.”

And that’s great, but it’s also far from realistic, especially where George Michael’s mental health struggles are concerned.

Of course, there’s some mention of how being locked out of the public eye affected Michael. In his own words, he admitted in the document that Wham! End of! Didn’t have much to do with Wham! on one’s own:

“The turning point of Wham! was when I suddenly thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m a big star and I’m gay.’ Depression was about this, the way I shut myself down.”

For a documentary called Wham! This seems like important information, yet very little is mentioned about George’s sexuality, let alone the fact that it’s Wham! How did you reach the end?

The closest we get is another interview segment where Michael explains how he found out by the age of 19 that he was gay or at least bisexual:

George said, “I stayed at this man’s house.” “He tried to have sex with me but I was too scared, but I realized I wanted to stay in bed all night long. I realized I wanted to be close to this guy like never before Was.”

When Michael came out to Ridgeley, he took it well, especially considering it all happened in the ’80s, but Andrew advised his best friend to avoid coming out in front of his family.

Wham Official Trailer


Looking back, Michael described it as “a pivotal moment”, saying: “At that point, I really wanted to come out, and then I completely lost my courage.”

“A little voice inside me was saying, ‘What am I going to do?’ I was wise enough to know that if I was looking for happiness it was the wrong path. I shouldn’t be trying to catch up to Michael Jackson or Madonna, which is exactly what I intended to do. I was able to grow. Wanted to be a human, but I felt trapped.”

As George puts it, it sounds like “a pivotal moment”, but director Chris Smith doesn’t seem to agree as the doc doesn’t elaborate further on it.

The previously unseen archive footage used helps give Michael a voice in the process, which is important, but his voice is still missing from the archive of said material. And therein lies the problem.

Had George Michael himself been involved, it’s likely that much more would have been revealed about his struggles as a closeted gay superstar. After all, they were an integral part of her journey, not just after Wham! Broke. This means they should be an integral part of any documentary that seeks to seriously consider the legacy of the band as a whole.

The problem is that Chris Smith doesn’t want to take a “serious” look at his story. He is far more concerned with how “life is affirmed”! It was for his millions of fans, which unfortunately rings hollow.

You’d think that the film would probably end with more information to help contextualize the band’s story within the wider career of George Michael. Instead, we are only given the following two statements:

1) “As a solo artist, George sold over 120 million records. No one was more proud and less surprised than Andrew.”

2) “In 2020, ‘Last Christmas’ finally hits the number one spot.”

While the inclusion of the second point makes sense given the focus of the document, the first point does almost nothing to capture George’s life beyond the band. Instead, this one succinct statement leans more on Andrew’s point of view than you might expect, making George’s incredible achievements go beyond the Wham! About Ridgeley more than George himself.

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, Wham


This argument can also be made against the entire document. Even with those George Michael interview snippets, it’s clear that Ridgeley’s perspective is on this film, which may help explain why some of the key elements surrounding his bandmate’s story were left on the cutting room floor. Why ended

As you’d expect, there’s also a brief dedication slide, but what about all the accolades George Michael has garnered over the years? What about all the charity work he does secretly and publicly? And then, what about his struggle as one of the biggest gay pop stars in the world at a time when being gay was not even legally discussed by teachers at school?

It’s easy to see why Netflix Wow! avoided George Michael’s legal problems or even the circumstances surrounding his death. That’s not necessarily relevant for a celebratory film like this. But his weirdness is so integral to Michael’s identity as both an artist and a human being that covering it up with such a lack of depth seems detrimental to the story of Wham! excessive.

in that interview above radio timesDirector Chris Smith said he was keen to make a film that “reflected the experience they shared”, but it was too much to make it true.

Wow! Now available to watch on Netflix.

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