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Cobain : Montage of Heck 2015 documentary Review

Montage of Heck is a noisy puff piece which obscures the reality underneath tons of vfx, animation and voice overs of people whom Kurt Cobain hated with passion. It is understandable that a documentary of such high production value has to avoid controversies and be as neutral as possible. How can the irony be lost on them that Kurt Cobain’s life was riddled with controversial contradictions? The documentry that does too much but achieves nothing is the fitting summary of montage of heck.

In the pursuit of painting a relatable and simplified portrait of Kurt they’ve only managed to make him look like an autistic, chronically ill, confused man who wasn’t even sure of his own convictions. The trailer and the pre-release hype was all about never heard never seen footage and “full access” to Kurt’s Journals. The journals shown are stoked with vfx flair without any narrative coherency. What Kurt scribbled in his notes is of no use if it doesn’t provide any substantial insight into his “tortured” psyche.

The claimed special footage is mostly from the camera of Courtney Love (his wife) while they were deep into Heroin addiction and were behaving like reckless junkies - full of nudity, skin full of sores, ranting anti-establishment gibberish and awful attempts at self-deprecating humor. There is footage from the childhood too with full narrative support from the family, the same family which disowned Kurt again and again.

There is a noisy musical haze with permeates every second of this 140 minutes long documentary. Half of those 140 minutes is fabricated animated nonsense, though the animations are cool as fuck. Kurt’s close longtime friend Buzz Osbourne has called bullshit publicly on those scandalous stories from Kurt’s teenage days. To top it all off is the fucked up hypocritical narrative.

Well, the narrative goes like this: Kurt was a hyperactive boy who needed Ritalin and “interventions”. Left after undressing a fat dumb girl for her vagina smelled awful and blowing his first chance to get laid, which he wanted to come to fruition. Well after than he was writing misanthropic songs directed at sex, sex is just eating each other’s shit basically. His pious rants exposing the intrinsic dirtiness of love and bodily fluids and eating each other’s infections gave him a misnomer of “bodhisattva”.

The name “Nirvana” sure did come from there, in his struggling days he was living with and being supported financially by Tracy. She was madly deeply shit eating-ly piss drinking-ly in love with Kurt, quite obvious from the notes she wrote him. Kurt left her after tasting the fame and hence being self-sufficient. Isn’t that called whoring yourself out? It is understandable maybe because he was autistic after all. All creative geniuses are autistic and autistics can’t feel shit for emotions, right?

After spitting on fans and fans revering him as The God of Love he felt so madly deeply shit eating-ly piss drinking-ly in love with Courtney that he tried to kill himself because *drum-roll*…..she thought of Cheating on him, just thought. She didn’t do it. And they collectively declare him overtly-sensitive. He felt everything so severely that just the anticipatory feeling of betrayal drove him to the edge of suicide. And to top it off the documentary ends up with Cobain performing a heart wrenching song asking his girl, where she sleep last night hence affirming Courtney Love’s version of events.

So this documentary although ostensibly exudes of having an objective narrative it clearly twists and turns and adds so much shit into the hard-facts that if flies right past the face of common sense. You can’t help rooting for him in the last, Montage of Heck creates fans while steering clear of having any questioning voice of its own. Coming to think about the inherent subjectivity in any documentary: they leave what they don’t want you to know. Isn’t that highly subjective. And in a highly post-processed industry backed endeavor such as this one, no one can tell the fact from fiction.

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