Take a Drink: whenever Campbell forgets someone’s name
Take a Drink: when Campbell stops a song on stage because his mind can’t catch up
–When that sickening feeling of your own mortality creeps on you, Do a Shot to tell that feeling to go fuck itself.
Do a Shot: each time Campbell displays a new symptom of memory loss
By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
The final tour of Legendary Pop Country singer-musician-songwriter Glen Campbell is chronicled in this fascinating documentary from director James Keach. Campbell had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and decided to take his family along for one final tour, with his musician children backing him up all the way.
Campbell and family tour for as long as possible under his declining mental conditions, until it becomes clear that he can no longer function on stage.
I’ll Be Me is a well-shot, and sharply assembled production. The filmmakers were clearly granted unprecedented access to Campbell and family, whose love for each other is evident in every scene. Director James Keach has the dual responsibilities of paying respect to Campbell’s career and telling a compelling narrative regarding his illness, and accomplishes both with aplomb. Besides having a wonderful country croon of a voice, Campbell is a seriously underrated guitarist, and the film takes ample time showing off his skills as a soloist. Director Keach uses Campbell’s guitar skills as one of several recurring themes throughout the film which showcase the decline of mental power caused by Alzheimer’s, as the virtuosic musician retains much of his talent well into his disease, but it is heartbreaking when that too also begins to fall into the ether.
The film’s chief flaw is in its focus on the present. The film begins with an in-credits montage of Campbell’s achievements, but could have been better served with a more detailed overview. Glen Campbell is one of those artists who is remembered mostly for his hits, so much so that people forget his numerous vital contributions to the music of others such as The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and others. The impact of his mental decline could have been even more powerful had the film spent a bit more time bringing the uninitiated up to speed on these aspects. Also, the film features numerous interviews with his present spouse, but it would have been a more well-rounded approach to also include additional family members, and even ex-wives, as the film only hints at Campbell’s difficult past.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me captures the way Alzheimer’s Disease ravages like a wildfire, and plays no favorites. It effectively and gorgeously displays the singer/songwriter/musician’s genius on camera, and the sad decline which the disease causes (word of advice, take your depression meds before watching this).