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Lennon Naked

Lennon Naked

On DVD: 
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Running Time: 
82 minutes

I watched "Lennon Naked" just one week after I watched "LennoNYC." It captures John's life from 1967-1971, and while I'd like to say that "Naked" was just as enjoyable as the documentary, it wasn't.

I like Christopher Eccleston as an actor (He was the only decent character on "Heroes," after all), but he just made John so unlikeable. He tried so hard to mimic John's unmistakeable voice that it became annoying after awhile, something that never came across in the documentary. Eccleston's portrayal of Lennon is so unlikeable you don't want him to "win" or get what he's after which had always been peace. What is strange is that I wasn't annoyed at all by Yoko (Naoko Mori). I actually felt compassion for her after she experienced two miscarriages before she was able to give birth to Sean in 1975 (not shown in the film).

The one thing I did get out of the film is that John really really loved Yoko. Not even the documentary explored that aspect. I was always under the impression that she weaseled her way into John's life and "brainwashed" him into disbanding The Beatles. I'd like to believe that John was living in chaos before he met Yoko and made those decisions after he met her.

The imagery and staging is pretty spot-on. In fact, if you search the Internet for some of the scenes in the film, you will find actual photos of the time. Nicely done. (I've included a comparison in the photos below.)

What is NOT nicely done is  Paul McCartney (Andrew Scott). Wow, is this the complete opposite of what I always believed Paul to be: marble-mouthed and bordering on addiction; you can hardly understand the guy. The Beatles even come across as self-absorbed assholes, and you kind of wonder "were they really like this and the media is just that good at covering it all up?" I realize that a lot of the scenes are fiction, but this is not the John Lennon that I want to remember.

The direction was done well but seemed rushed at times (four years in two hours is a bit much). The film included lovely stock footage and music of the real John Lennon and Yoko Ono (she's not a bad guy, folks). I think I'll go and watch "LennoNYC" again and remember the John I really liked.

Review by Jennifer Isbell