Michael Jackson has always been described in two different ways. He is either a calculated genius or pedophilic madman who hides behind his celebrity. Both are extreme characterizations of someone whom I believe to be a simple man who led a complicated life. This Is It gives viewers a small glimpse into that artist’s life. In this film, we, as an audience gain an understanding of his passion for music and his love of people and human nature. This Is It serves as a respectful memoriam to an artist that was ahead of his time. The film covers the final few rehearsals before Michael Jackson was to perform his final sold out tour at the O2 arena in London. Kenny Ortega serves as director of the documentary and is known for being the director of a few of Michael Jackson’s tours. Kenny Ortega does not treat Michael as a child and instead chooses to act as a guiding hand to Michael as he finalizes performances for his tour.
Michael Jackson as a person is showcased on this film. The film’s saving grace is being able to see Michael Jackson as a person. Anyone who watches this film is at least familiar with the fact that Michael is a celebrity shrouded in controversy. Michael showcases not only his ability to perform his classic hits in this film, but also his attention to detail and his affection for those he has handpicked to work with him. As much as this film is a memoriam, it is also a celebration of a life that lived to serve those around him. He cared so deeply for his fans, dancers, and vocalists. Michael’s primary concern in this film is not that everything is perfect, but making sure that everyone is feeling their best and happiest while working for and with him. As a film, This Is It is flawed. The film is a small interpretation of the concert the world didn’t get to see. Had this particular film been featured as a companion to the actual concert I believe that Michael Jackson as an artist and a person would be able to rise no higher than being the human being we all strive to be. I truly believe that may be how he wished to be known as a decent human being who care very little for himself and gave everything he had to the world. This film doesn’t show us the Michael we never got to know, it shows us the Michael we all knew existed but never got to spend time. This Is It is not a timeless classic but Michael Jackson as a person is.