REVIEW: ‘The Beatles – Get Back’ Is For Old and New Fans of the Fab 4

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The Beatles-Get Back

The Beatles – Get Back, a 3 part documentary series directed by Peter Jackson, was released earlier this week on Disney+. The documentary series was split into 3 parts and covered 22 days, and each part was released on a different day. The documentary series follows all four members of The Beatles and features in-studio footage that was shot in 1969 for the feature film Let It Be. Part 1 follows The Beatles as they arrive at Twickenham Studios to record new songs that will be featured as a television special about their new album which would lead to a live concert at an undetermined location. After 7 days of recording, George Harrison shockingly leaves the band. Part 2 focuses on a meeting between George and the other members of The Beatles to discuss his sudden departure. They all decide to resume rehearsal and recording at the Apple Corps studio location. Part 3 focuses on their rooftop concert on top of the Apple Corps headquarters.

From the first few minutes of The Beatles – Get Back Part 1, it’s clear that the documentary series is meant for long-time fans of The Beatles. This isn’t to say that viewers who aren’t too familiar with their work can’t watch it. The documentary series focuses on the inner workings of an incredibly successful band that made a significant impact in the world of music. Whether viewers were alive during the time of the events shown in the series or watching events unfold for the first time, this documentary series will give fans and unfamiliar audiences an inside look into who The Beatles were as a band and as individuals.

It’s the musical intuition that Paul shows when composing songs, the respectful manner in which Ringo and George watch what their bandmates do, or the natural chemistry that John and Paul had when creating songs. The series dives deep into each member. Some scenes show moments where they clashed. For instance, Paul asks for a more enthusiastic attitude from his bandmates early on in the process. Seeing how invested Paul was in this process was incredible to see, but it also comes off as arrogance on his part. This in-depth look will surely please fans while giving unfamiliar viewers a bigger perspective on the members as individuals and bandmates. On top of this, one of the highlights is the lack of commentary, making it as if viewers are right there with 4 iconic musicians and witnessing everything first-hand.

One of the rather interesting aspects of The Beatles – Get Back documentary series is how it breaks myths about the band. This isn’t to say that there are never moments of tension, specifically the events that lead to George’s sudden departure from the band. However, there were beliefs, especially during the making of the Let It Be feature film, that all members of The Beatles hated one another. However, various scenes share the chemistry they all had with each other, both musically and personally.

During one scene where Paul is talking to George about his departure, George tells him that he will go and play with the band if Paul asks or not play at all if that was asked of him as well. This shows the importance that McCartney’s opinion has on George, which points out the impact their friendship has on him. Another popular belief is that Yoko Ono is the main reason the band broke up, which is currently still being brought up. But, many scenes in the documentary show Yoko being in the room while the band records. It’s hard to imagine her breaking up the band or feuding with other members if she’s just accompanying her husband.

Before watching The Beatles – Get Back documentary series, it’s hard to ignore the run-time over every episode. Culminating into nearly 8 hours long, each episode is put split up to be around 2-3 hours long. While die-hard fans of the band will appreciate the many hours of never-before-seen content, it’s difficult to imagine new audiences sticking around for much of the documentary series.

I understand that the run-time of the series as a whole is around the same as a standard documentary series, but making every episode have such an extended run-time is excessive. Some moments were hard to keep up with and would require going back to see what I missed. Even if the episodes were released over the span of 3 days, it’d be difficult to find time to watch the episodes of the documentary series in one sitting. The phrase “too much of a good thing” can definitely be applied to viewers who may be unfamiliar with The Beatles.

Ultimately, The Beatles – Get Back offers a unique and intimate look at one of the most iconic bands within the music world, and the process of recording was during the making of the Let It Be feature film. Looking at the chemistry and relationships that the band members had in both personal and professional manners was interesting to see. Jackson made it possible for viewers to experience as if they were there, seeing the band go through everything that took place.

The documentary series breaks myths down by providing examples of moments that disproved certain beliefs regarding the band, its members, and those associated with them. However, the run-time of every episode could have been improved or split up into more episodes to avoid it feeling excessive for audiences unfamiliar with The Beatles. Overall, this is a series for new and old fans of the Fab 4 that I will be rewatching in the future.

All episodes of The Beatles – Get Back are streaming now on Disney+.


The Beatles-Get Back
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

The documentary series breaks myths down by providing examples of moments that disproved certain beliefs regarding the band, its members, and those associated with them. However, the run-time of every episode could have been improved or split up into more episodes to avoid it feeling excessive for audiences unfamiliar with The Beatles. Overall, this is a series for new and old fans of the Fab 4 that I will be rewatching in the future.

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