The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘This Is It’ shows a new side to the ‘King of Pop’

“This Is It,” the film documenting rehearsals for Michael Jackson’s final tour was originally intended as video for the ‘King of Pop’s personal archives.

Although the footage was filmed with no intention of one day gracing the big screen, the movie topped box offices October 28 – November 1, earning $32.5 million domestically and $68.5 internationally. Grossing $101 million over a period of five days, “This Is It” beats “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” as the highest grossing concert film of all time.

Completely unaware of the film’s content, I was coerced to see “the Michael Jackson movie” by an enthusiastic friend.

Although I have always enjoyed singing along to MJ’s classic hits, I assumed that the frail man I saw in gossip magazines lost most of his talent at the same rate of his declining health.

In fact, I was shocked to hear that he was planning to perform at all.

Clearly I underestimated the man. Within the first five minutes of the film, the pop icon was dancing like it was the 1980s all over again.

After years of media attention focused solely on Jackson’s unusual appearance and habits, it has been almost too easy to forget what he is famous for in the first place.

Although the Jackson of recent years hardly resembles his former self as the youngest member of The Jackson 5 or the young pop star on the road to becoming the king of his genre, the rehearsals for his final tour are proof that he’s still got it.

“This Is It” shows Jackson’s last days were spent in relatively good health. To even the harshest critics, the documentary leaves no doubt regarding the state of his supreme talent.

Even when the performances seemed perfect, MJ could pinpoint the need to let a silence “sizzle” just a moment longer to optimize the viewer’s experience. Albeit soft-spoken, Jackson’s clear communication commanded respect.

The film not only captures what would have been the ultimate tour to end Jackson’s career with a bang, putting him back in the spotlight for his musical talent, but also reveals a human side to the man most of us had written off as just plain messed-up in too many ways to get into.

“This Is It” almost makes viewers forget that Jackson horrified us by sleeping with little boys or making his children wear masks; he is gracious, articulate, kind and complimentary of others throughout the film.

There is no sign of arrogance or failure to think of his staff or performers.

Everyone on tour seeks to impress Jackson, but he often seems insecure and oblivious of the awe he inspires. Ironically, despite being the reigning ‘King of Pop,’ he appears to desperately desire their approval as well.

Devoid of expected diva-like behavior, Jackson never issues demands or fails to explain even the smallest change he hopes to make to the show.

“This Is It” exceeded all of my expectations. I not only enjoyed watching MJ perform his greatest hits, but also realized that it is essential to look past his personal life and appearance because his talent deserves respect.

Even though he looked white at the end, the man could still sing and dance like only Michael Jackson could.

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