Documentary Review: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)


As much music as I listen to, both in the amount of genres and in the amount songs, you shouldn’t be surprised that I am a fan of grunge band Nirvana. While their style in a lot of songs might be too “raw” and “unpolished” for some people, I certainly like it a lot. So when I heard there was a new documentary about the band’s lead singer coming out I got pretty curious. So now I have finally gotten the chance to see it. So what did I think? Let’s have a look!’

Ladies and gentlemen… “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”.

So in this movie we basically get the life story of musician Kurt Donald Cobain (R.I.P) who was the lead singer of grunge band Nirvana (Wait, I already mentioned those details in the intro). And we follow it from an objective point of view as we see how Kurt got from his humble beginnings in Aberdeen, Washington up to the point of his suicide in 1994. The story of Cobain is presented through a mix of interviews from people in his life, animations laid on top of voice clips of Cobain himself and also through a lot of different videos of him from different points in his life. All of this culminates into an interesting presentation of one of the most odd yet surprisingly complex people of the modern era. And while you can make your own opinion about the man, and the people who get interviewed say one thing or another about him, this movie is really an objective look at Cobain and his life. And I really enjoyed seeing how it presented itself, it was both entertaining and educational.

I think it is obvious that if you don’t like the music of Nirvana, you will hate the music in this movie because majority of it are Nirvana songs. There are a few other tracks too, mainly small pieces of original score to add to some parts where they really couldn’t use a Nirvana song to good result. But the original songs they did use were pretty great and fit very well into the mix. And if I remember correctly, at least two of the tracks were slowed down and more atmospheric versions of some Nirvana songs. And the Nirvana originals used in the movie weren’t blasted all the time but often sat in the background to keep the scene a little more interesting, even if the original scene is interesting on it’s own. And I might be a little biased about the music in the movie considering I love Nirvana, but even looking from an objective standpoint you can see that it fits perfectly. And with that whole “Bias” thing, even I know that if they would suddenly throw “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into “The Godfather” I would find it stupid and terrible. Oh my god, someone please photoshop Kurt Cobain’s head onto Marlon Brando in any scene he is in from “The Godfather”, that shit would be fucking hilarious!

This movie is edited in such a way that it would give some people headaches. It would also make the same people really fucking annoyed. But I personally don’t mind, the often frantic editing and direction fits the fractured mind of Kurt Cobain and the pretty strange life he led. I also think it gave the movie a ceratin edge that really makes it it’s own thing. I also liked the animations that they put on top of interviews and audio clips of Kurt Cobain, those were not only really well animated, but they also really worked a lot to help tell the story. Really, those animations could make for a very interesting movie on their own. Someone make it!

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification (Sidenote: If you go by “Top Critics” on the site the movie has a 100% positive rating). On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” is a very interesting look at the late grunge singer’s life. When you watch this you notice that while he did drugs, he was never really a bad person (and that was an objective observation, thank you). You will get sucked in and you will stay interested through the entire thing while also getting to listen to some great music. Time for my final score. *Strums on guitar*. My final score for “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” is a 9,88/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” is completed.

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now; entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now; entertain us
A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido
Yeah, hey

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