25th Jan2018

‘I Am Heath Ledger’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

i-am-heath-blu

To think it is ten years since Heath Ledger died shows how fast things seem to go these days. One thing we can be sure of though even after ten years is that Ledger left his mark on the world, and is still missed. In I Am Heath Ledger we get an intimate look into just who he was, not only through interviews with his friends, but his own self-made video collection and images created by the man himself.

It always feels like one of those unfair tragedies that not only did he die, but it happened just as The Dark Knight would have made him a bigger star than he already was. Cementing his spot as one of the best actors to play The Joker, his performance almost felt like it could never be bested by anybody who came after him. Some even pointed to the intensity of the character as one of the reasons behind his untimely death.

What we see in I Am Heath Ledger though is a star who shone brightly, and at times maybe a little too bright. A free spirit who was very creative and talented beyond acting, it is easy to look at this documentary and his work that we see in it, and think that he would have moved into the world of directing and given his fans even more. This is something that makes his death feel even more of a loss for his fans.

What I Am Heath Ledger most importantly does though is show the impact he had on his family and friends. In Hollywood this includes the likes of Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, and Emile Hirsch. More importantly though we get to hear from his family and friends, and find out about the man behind the actor.

This documentary is a must for fans of Ledger, because in many ways it confirms many things they probably already thought about him. We see behind the scenes of the movies, and find out about how he felt about them, how he fought for roles, and sometimes how he felt he wasn’t good enough. He was a man who didn’t enjoy the promotion of the movie, he would rather be doing the acting. He enjoyed being creative and enjoying life, and that is the side that fans want to see.

In many ways, the footage that he filmed himself is what makes the documentary very interesting. From the music videos that he made for his friends, to the things he filmed when just messing around, it showed a talent that felt somewhat undiscovered, and would have helped him move not only through his acting career but also directing.

When it comes to Heath Ledger, my favourite films are The Dark Knight (of course), but also ones like Brokeback Mountain, so it is nice to see that film included in this look at his life. It is interesting watching Ang Lee talk about Hedger’s performance, which confirms in many ways what I liked about it myself. It was that type of role that made him stand out, where there is a pure intensity that would also show up in more extravagant performances like The Joker.

I Am Heath Ledger is a must see for fans of the actor, and for movie fans as well. The documentary gives an interesting insight into the growth of an actor who was taken from us too soon. What it also does is to remind us that behind all the mourning his fans did, there was also a family who grieved for him too, and the documentary brings that to the forefront very well.

***** 5/5

I Am Heath Ledger is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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