When it comes to biopics, recently the conversation has been driven to Lifetime’s controversial production of Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B. I haven’t watched it, however, when R. Kelly looks like Joe and the casting for Timbaland and Missy Elliot are way off the mark, you can tell that it was going to be more of a miss than a hit.
I chose to watch a different biopic and I chose the incredible Get On Up which is a biopic of the life of the legend and Godfather of Soul James Brown. Like a lot of 20 something year olds, I knew who James Brown was, knew his music, understood his greatest and influence on music. Watching Get On Up I learned that the man was more than just the Godfather of Soul, he was a musical pioneer and some what of a political figure.
The film crosses between James as a young boy from Georgia who is from a broken home, how he formed and created his career and him becoming the Godfather of Soul. If you’re looking for a linear timeline, then this isn’t for you.
The film starts off when James is at the top of his career and takes us through time to see how the man was made. Played by Chadwick Boseman, the genius of James Brown was portrayed through how he could change a nation through music, break boundaries both racially and musically and ultimately continue to have faith within himself and religion through a lot of heartache and setbacks. From what was displayed in the film, he wasn’t loved by everyone but he knew how to make the masses adore him.
The film doesn’t take us all the way to Brown’s death, but portrays what James Brown did for music and what he did for his country when Martin Luther King was assassinated. This film could have went a bad way like a lot of other biopics, however, Chadwick Boseman did a great job to capture and display the greatness of James Brown. Reportedly the actor didn’t want to take the role, but he and the rest of us who have watched Get On Up are thankful that he did.
Get On Up Trailer: