Starring Mario St-Amand
Directed by Alain DesRochers
The caravan of new releases keeps trucking onward and upward at video stores across the city of Toronto, and once in a while we do get a little bit of Canadian content. The first of those this week was “Eco-Pirate: The Story Of Paul Watson” you can read my take on this Canadian documentary below, or our very own Kristal Cooper’s take right here. The second Canadian film out this week from our friends at eOne films is from ‘La Belle Province’ du Quebec, and is an intimate look at the life and times of one of Quebec’s most memorable rock stars; Gerald Boulet. It’s time to take a look at “Gerry”
“Gerry” tells the often turbulent and never boring life story of Gerard Boulet; a Quebecois rock and roll pioneer whose legendary gravel voice made an indelible impression on the music scene in Quebec. We bear witness to the modest beginnings of Offenbach, from the bars to the massive stadium tours, through all the breathtaking highs and lows in a musical career that culminated in a solo comeback tour and a bitter battle with cancer. An intense portrait providing a look at the wild life of a man whose memory will be treasured by millions of Quebecers.
Unfortunately for “Gerry” it has a rich history of rock and roll bio pictures that it has to live up to. While getting the Quebecois twist on this story was interesting, films of this nature will have to be excellent to be able to pique the interest of anyone who may not be familiar with the music. While the film was very well executed, you’ve got to care about the characters and unless you’re a fan of the music you really don’t. Despite being loved by millions of adoring fans, Gerald Boulet was the standard preening rock star and actually not very likable as his life shot downward abusing alcohol and drugs in excess, combine that with a fuzzy chronology of events it made for a slightly muddled film.
As Gerald Boulet or ‘Gerry’, lead Mario St-Amand was entertaining enough but he was the only one to get any kind of character development. As we take random jumps in time throughout his story, the film tends to be more of an Offenbach musical history lesson then a biography of the man that Gerald Boulet was as we simply got historical bullet points along the way.
Extras include a making of and various behind the scenes looks at the film, and the quality of the picture and sound on the disc truly does pop giving the music real energy.
“Gerry” was a biography for the fans of his solo work and of Offenbach, but it simply doesn’t follow enough of a pure narrative to rise above being interesting for anyone other than the fans.
2 out of 5 stars.
“Gerry” is available at video stores across Toronto; click here for a list of some of the finer independent video stores across the city.
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