Short and quite shallow but affectionate retrospective on Help!
Having just watched the film Help! I dipped into this documentary looking back at the making of the film. With the film I had commented that it was all very exuberant and erratic and this documentary confirms that this is very much the approach in the production and making of the film itself. In this regard the documentary captures this reasonably well in a very succinct package.
The lack of the Beatles themselves at first appears to be a big loss but the opposite is actually true because it does free the film from the weight of celebrity. I do not mean this in a negative way, but it does help the film not to have the modern Paul McCartney looming large within the 30 minute film. Instead the main person is actually Lester which is a wise call. He recalls the making of the film with affection and delivers his stories without any sense of ego or of the importance of his own role in it. Others add their bits along the way but mostly Lester drives it.
Under these recollections is a good collection of archive footage that helps put the viewer back in the period we are being told about. That said it is not a great documentary. It doesn't get into the detail, the archive footage is not that revealing and it is pretty short. This means that fans looking for real insight may well feel that the film falls far short of what they would have liked and perhaps that is a fair complaint given that, looking at it another way, none of the Beatles could be bothered to turn out for it. However, as I said, I felt it worked for what it was and was quite an enjoyable short little film that is built on affectionate recollections and not just the usual PR platitudes.
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