The -not so dirt - dirt on Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe - one of the most important bands in the history of rock ‘n’ Roll. Responsible for bringing into the mainstream a branch of Rock ‘n’ Roll not quite suitable for the general public at the time. Reaching the summit of their stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, Crüe experienced all the glamour of being a rock stars. Even the most unlikely and nuisance – shall we say – hijinks? Let’s take a look at the -not so dirt - dirt on Mötley Crüe.
Netflix’ "The Dirt" is certainly one of the best cinebiographies made in recent years. Yes, I know I’m blaspheming against ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but in all fairness, ‘The Dirt’ is much more fun to watch. ‘Walk the Line’ – Johnny Cash’s cinebiography - was cool, but it had more of a homage tone to it. As did ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – the muse for my previous article- was a box office hit, but it gave us a hygienic story. It was quite politically correct and with hints of anti-britishisms (yes, I said it!). ‘Detroit Rock City’ was awesome but not really a cinebiography. ‘This is Spinal Tap’, ‘Rock Star’, ‘The Blues Brothers’ and the classic ‘Tenacious D’ weren’t even about real bands. But when it comes to real, sweaty, sticky, smoky, chemically enhanced rock ‘n’ roll, nothing done so far is as honest as ‘The Dirt’. Let alone exaggerated and unpretentious!
One hour and forty-eight minutes is definitely not enough to explore the plethora of wickedness Mötley Crüe have to offer. However, ‘The Dirt’ surprisingly compresses 30 years of the band’s history into a fairly entertaining flick. The movie at least gave us an idea of what Mötley Crüe was like. The good, the bad, and the rotten sides.
The narrative is dynamic from beginning to end, something uncommon for Netflix. The film never becomes tiring, it amuses, it angers, it moves us. It is even capable of making us cry – believe me, it does!
The actors were so good in their roles! It is actually hard to differ who the actors were and who the actual musicians were. Especially when they show old band photos at the end.
Should I dare compare it to Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ and Tim Miller’s ‘Deadpool’?
Yes, I should! But don’t murder me yet, Woody Allen’s fans. I’m just comparing the fourth wall breaking all three movies do so elegantly.
The Dirt’s direction is very consistent. The breaks of the fourth wall are punctual, unexpected, and quite amusing.
The film makes a point of separating reality from fiction. They literally say: ‘This never happened, but it sounded cooler than what really happened’.
Perhaps the film’s coup de grâce was its balance. It gave each band member the same level of importance, depth of backstory, screen time, and overall awesomeness. If you think about it, it’s a movie about a band, not just one iconic artist who happens to be part of a band.
Let’s get controversial
We live in times of political correctness. People justify the most deplorable or disgusting behaviors as left-lib political stances. As opposed to conservative stands. These are condemned as bigotry. However, ‘The Dirt’ brings a fresh whiff of ‘this is reality, deal with it’.
One should expect lots of drugs and sex in a cinebiography of an 80’s band. What you may have not expected is a man slapping a woman who was offending his mother. In addition, a rocker who actually had a loving nuclear family and didn’t grow up with a sad and traumatizing life story.
A man defending his mother’s honor from a groupie of questionable morals. Not pegged as a villain, a drunk, a bastard, or anything derogatory. Traditional nuclear families portrayed as something quite lovely and deserving of respect. These aren’t such common things to see in the media nowadays. Let alone to see in a band's cinebiography. Especially one of the most controversial rock bands of the 80's. Hunf, reality check!
And now the fat lady sings
They set the tone of this movie right at the beginning. The narrator - one of the protagonists - gives a statement that strikes by its simplicity and honesty: ‘We were not a band, we were a gang.’
What could have been a heavy drama or a millennial’s ‘let’s be offended by everything’ film, given the seriousness of the narrated events, paradoxically becomes a fun revisit of the devil-may-care attitude we had in the 80’s and early 90’s.
If you do not know the band, it is worth watching the movie and getting to know the work of this wicked cool off the hook 80’s hair band.
Dennis Tura is a language teacher, author, and proprietor of his own Startup since 2005. Shortly after endeavouring on the private language tutoring market, he realised social media would be key to reach customers far and wide, and therefore based most of his advertising on these outlets. In 2012, he took a step even further and began providing courses online, reaching customers worldwide and once again making using of social media as an optimal channel for advertising.