Oluwakorede Asuni

MJ’s THIS IT

Originally written, October 28th and then forgotten until now.

Spent a while (and you can add a fortune too :)) seeing Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which premiers from today in cinemas worldwide. I could not help but conclude that Michael was a bunch of talent and deep thinking giving his calculated dance steps, deliberate pitch and troughs in his singing and the subject of his songs – which included the earth, helping the poor etc.

I cannot say I was a fan of his while he lived. True I did not miss a single showing of his biographic serial on the Cadbury breakfast TV in the 90s – can’t remember what it was called now though. Reading the Moon Walk way back in the late 90s at a time when I was able to appreciate growing up (being a teenager myself) gave me a glimpse of the pop star’s growing days – and helped put into perspective what Ihad withnessed on the TV serial earlier on.

I have also been in love with such hit tracks – no, not Thriller, you won’t believe I heard thriller for the second time only a few months ago, the first time being a performance by a dance group at Igbobi College in 1998 – but Bad, Speechless, Earth Song and some others.

Nothing prepared me for what the movie potrayed.

Michael was a talented dancer and singer, very careful (not unadventurous though) and attentive to detail – he won’t let it go if it is not perfect.

This Is It presents footages from rehearsals and auditions for MJ’s London shows which were all sold out and which in Michael’s words were his last set of performances – and which never held.

Not being much of a movie critic, I will not attempt a critique of This IsIt, but just express my personal eye view. I  had expected much more drama and less of the stage performances – which were in themselves proof of MJ’s creativity and the professionalism of his associates as well as the seriousness of the approach to entertainment business in America. I was thrilled by the complex manipulations of lighting, imagery and sound on a mechanised stage.

Today, I wished I had paid more attention to Michael’s works in the past, while he lived and allowed them form part of my ‘growing up songs’, perhaps I would have looked forward to his album launches/releases like I do Lagbaja, Akon, Beautiful Nubia, Papa Tee, Asa and some few others.

Michael who appears a bit illusioned in his last days  – he kept making repeated and most times unnecessary statements about love – was philosophical till death – that is if the last performance showed in the movie was really the last song he rehearsed.

His last words were: make the change…. And that is something from Man in the Mirror, I guess!

Rest in Peace Michael!

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