The Doors (Oliver Stone, 1991): USA

Reviewed by Alex Kilauano. Viewed on DVD.

Known as one of the best rock n’ roll bands, The Doors have been known to put on either the best concert you have ever seen or the best displays of drugs and alcohol in all its entirety; that is rock n’ roll. Oliver Stone’s 1991 film The Doors, follows lead singer Jim Morrison through his life and career as he becomes one of rock’s biggest stars.

The film starts of with a very young Jim Morrison seeing a car crash as a kid. Seeing a dying Indian on the side of the road starts the recurring theme of death that continues through out the film. Being that Jim Morrison only lived to be 27, the theme of death seemed to be necessary.

However the film is not just about death, it’s also about Jim Morrison’s love life with girlfriend Pam Courson. The relationship throughout the movie is very rocky at times, and shows the confusion and poet in Jim Morrison. Jim was not just known as a troubled rock star but a troubled person nonetheless. With his struggles with his music, career and drugs, the film shows just that. He wasn’t just an alcoholic and druggy, but also a very talented musician and poet. However I felt that the film showed Jim Morrison as just a rock star and not so much as a normal human being.

I felt that Oliver Stone gave mainly the take on the rock star and not so much the poet of Jim Morrison. However the film is very to the point when it comes to The Doors’ concerts. Having been a fan of The Doors for some time, I have seen a lot of concert footage of the band, and because of that I could really see the essence of a real Doors concert in the film. But also having been a fan, I could see where the film was true and also false in its take on The Doors. As I said before, the film only portrayed Jim Morrison as the rock star and not the poet that he was, a very shy and soft, gentle human being.

Yet I felt where Oliver Stone was coming from when making the film, and understand that it would have been very difficult to portray Jim Morrison as a rock star and a poet in one film. So his take on Jim felt understandable when it came to making a film on The Doors.

All in all Oliver Stone gives another great film, with a great cast–Val Kilmer as Jim and Meg Ryan as Jim’s on and off again girlfriend Pam. With a great cast and a great director it would have been hard not to like the film from the start. This is film about what rock n’ roll is: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. And having said that, this may be one of the best films that show just what rock n’ roll is. Whether you are a fan of The Doors or not, be ready to become obsessed with one of the greatest rock bands ever made, The Doors.

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