Why Peter Jackson's Beatles Documentary May Be the Best Movie About the Band – MovieWeb

The Beatles: Get Back is about to celebrate the anniversary of its release, and Peter Jackson’s series remains the best movie about the iconic band.
November 2022 will mark the one-year anniversary that Peter Jackson's The Beatles: Get Back documentary series premiered on Disney+. Airing from November 25th to 27th, the 2021 documentary covered the making of the Beatles' final album, 1970's Let It Be. The documentary series was created using hours of unseen footage and audio from the 1970 documentary film Let It Be which in many cases highlighted the downfall of the band and the growing tension among the members.
Using visually stunning up-to-date film restoration that Peter Jackson mastered in the 2018 war documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, his eight-hour and three-part documentary received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, showcasing The Beatles like never before in a version of events far different from the original 1970 documentary. While The Beatles themselves starred in a number of movies, and their music became the inspiration for films like Across the Universe and Yesterday, The Beatles: Get Back showcased The Beatles like never before and is the best film about the fab four from Liverpool.
The musical biopic has become a popular genre of film, particularly in recent years as it is often an easy way for awards consideration. While many musical biopics feature iconic songs, they don't quite delve into the creative process of it. Even musical documentaries tend to showcase the impact of songs, more so than what it takes to actually make one.
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The Beatles: Get Back shows the long (and winding), painstaking, and sometimes mundane nature of the creative side of songwriting. It is amazing to see them write and workshop what will become some of their most iconic music, but also to see how it is a slow process that takes time and many false starts and stops. It shows that great music is not just created, but rather an art that needs to be worked on, and shows the real side of what it takes to craft a song.
It would not be an understatement to call The Beatles the most influential band of all time. Their music is iconic and has been enjoyed for almost six decades with new fans discovering them every day (Jackson's docuseries literally sold out screenings). A legendary band means legends form around them, and myths begin to grow, and perhaps no pop band has been as mythical as The Beatles. Popular culture has enjoyed making Yoko Ono the villain in the narrative, citing her as the reason The Beatles broke up and should be blamed. The documentary shows the reality that it was not one person it could be blamed on, but instead just four friends who were growing apart and wanted to pursue different avenues in their careers. Paul McCartney even mocks the idea of Yoko Ono breaking up the band back while recording the documentary.
Related: These Are the Best Documentaries on Hulu, Ranked
While The Beatles: Get Back does show conflict within the band, it's more along the lines of long-time friends and how artists will bash heads when collaborating. It shows that even until the end they all had a certain level of love and respect for one another. The Beatles ended not because of one person, but as a natural part of life where people drifted away. Even in the hardship of the band breaking up, there were still plenty of great memories worth having.
The Beatles had appeared in a number of movies as fictionalized versions of themselves from A Hard Day's Night to Help! Yet it is in The Beatles: Get Back that audiences truly get to see The Beatles in a way not often depicted. These are not legendary musicians or exaggerated figures of pop culture, but instead, just four normal guys who enjoy making music. It shows them bickering like friends do, as well as the good times they have. Audiences get a sneak peek behind the curtain and see them in a way many thought would be impossible.
Most importantly though, it serves as a time capsule to allow audiences to look at The Beatles as young men full of life. In the years since both John Lennon and George Harrison have sadly passed away. There is a sort of tragedy behind the documentary, to see these young men with still a whole world ahead of them that for some will be cut short in just a decade. The Beatles: Get Back allows them, as well as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, to speak once more. It allows audiences to see The Beatles at a very particular moment in their life that can be forever cherished. The film restoration gives the footage a new life, as if it was shot just weeks ago with the newest up-to-date cameras, which lets The Beatles live once again.
Richard Fink is a writer who graduated from Arizona State University in 2016 with a degree in Film and Media Production. He loves the finer things in life, like cold Diet Coke on a hot summer day. Richard is a fan of all things Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and Film History.


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