Friday, October 21, 2011


With their arrival they made both history and hysteria and created the creed for the generations of music lovers called ‘The Beatles Mania.’ The four Liverpool young boys were almost in their twenties and they achieved the name, fame, money and kind of celebrity status that any accomplished music talents of that time could dream and envy of! Made by one of the acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese, ‘Living in a Material World’ is one of the finest biographical and musical tributes of one of the genuine fellow Beatles and lead guitarist named George Harrison. Its epical documentary in two parts with length of three hours thirty minutes running time and it deserves that as it’s about The Beatles!

The film has loads of material for the Beatles fans- the unseen stage, shows and rehearsal personal footage, rare photographs and conversation sessions with George’s closest friends Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Brian Epstein, Yoko Ono, Director Terry Gilliam (with whom he produced ‘Life of Brian’) and it captured the ups and downs of his life as well as The Beatles. George was a catalyst and calm facilitator in the band between the dominant Paul and John who were so different in attitudes. The film documented the maniac hysteria towards the band and their music. It was time when music was religion and mad followers consider them equal to God which brought ire of media and Orthodox Church. George made and wrote some of the wonderful songs ‘Let it Be’, ‘While my guitar gently weeps’, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Something’ to name a few.

The most interesting part of the documentary is George’s personal Indian spiritual-cultural-musical connection, especially Sitar Maestro Pt. Ravishankar and mediation and mystical mentor Maharishi and ISKCON. It is treat to watch George crooning and strumming guitar and Sitar in company of doyens of Indian classical Music- Pt. Ravishankar, Ustad Allahrakha and Ustad Bismillah Khan. We see George sharing his committed views to Indian spirituality that turned him quite dismissive towards the materialistic things in the later part of his career post-Beatles. The experience of this reflected in their later albums of Beatles along with his solo album titled ‘All Things Must Pass’. There’s a point of time when George completely absorbed himself into abstract mysticism and meditation of his Indian spiritual encounter but at the same time there’s other mundane things that he’s attached too-especially the other three Beatles and the phenomena of their band. Somehow the intensity and individual talents of four guys confronted with one another that brought rift between them and one by one they started quitting after White album.

As I’ve read the autobiography of Clapton, I must say that among all interviewed men he seems too honest in his views about his closest friend in this documentary. Out of all four Beatles, Clapton admired him so much and mentioned him as one of the finest contemporary guitar player of its time. His amateur affair with George’s wife Pattie brought us one of the most soulful Clapton number ‘Layla’ but it was shocking surprise for genuine George; later Clapton married with her though he maintained friendship with him. Ringo is another genuine friend who remained concerning friend till his death. The only drawback of the film is last half an hour which is quite stretching one.

Worth watching stuff for any Beatles fans.


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