The Bee Gees : How Can You Mend A Broken Heart is a music documentary directed by Frank Marshall about the Gibb Brothers viz. Barry, Robin and Maurice. The documentary basically focuses on the two main eras in which the trio were at their most successful i.e. the late 1960s and a decade later in the late 1970s. There are also cursory examinations of their fallow periods in between and after these phenomenal heights but nothing much in depth.
What The Bee Gees : How Can You Mend A Broken Heart does reveal is that first and foremost the Bee Gees were a family unit and an ordinary one at that. As human beings, the individuals that comprised the Bee Gees come across as normal everybody people. So, in that sense, there is very little of the extreme highs and lows, the tension, conflict and drama that one might find in a documentary about bands who might be considered peers of the Bee Gees.
The Bee Gees were never really rock stars. Not in the same way we might think of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin or The Who. The documentary struggles to find any of the depression, decadence or debauchery usually associated with successful rock bands. Which is probably why the Bee Gees have never been considered hip or cool, and continued to be looked down on by music snobs.
However, those in the know – musicians and songwriters – understand how gifted and talented the Bee Gees were, as composers and performers. Thus, we get the usual slew of interview subjects to sing their praises, but this time a little surprising. From Eric Clapton to Noel Gallagher to Justin Timberlake to Chris Martin, the assessment is consistent – the Bee Gees were one of the most significant bands of all time.
The Bee Gees : How Can You Mend A Broken Heart does an excellent job in being true to the heart of the Bee Gees – the music. Also, it provides an insight into the familial underpinnings that allowed the brothers to survive changes in fashion, to adapt to the vagaries of musical taste to become the timeless musical institution they have been deservedly recognised as. Highly recommended.
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