the fresh films reviews

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The Doors (1991)

Oliver Stone



The Doors

141 minutes

Bill Graham
Sasha Harari
Mario Kassar
A. Kitman Ho

J. Randal Johnson
Oliver Stone

Cast includes:

Jim Morrison Val Kilmer
John Densmore Kevin Dillon
Ray Manzarek

Kyle MacLachlan

Patricia Kennealy Kathleen Quinlan
Pamela Courson Meg Ryan
Robby Krieger Frank Whaley
Bill Siddons Josh Evans -
Andy Warhol Crispin Glover -
Dorothy Kelly Hu -
Dog Dennis Burkley -
Cat Billy Idol -
Tom Baker Michael Madsen -
Magazine photographer Mimi Rogers -
Paul A. Rothchild Michael Wincott -
Jac Holzman Mark Moses -
Okie girl Jennifer Tilly -
Indian in Desert Wes Studi -
Macing Cop Titus Welliver -



In Oliver Stone's vision of 1960s California the time and scene which fostered Jim Morrison and his band The Doors every image and sensibility you would associate with it are amplified and embellished almost to the point of mockery. Still, there is nothing satirical in Stone's angle, which is all about nostalgia and idealism, as if Morrison was dead right: drugging, boozing, philandering and rebellion was and is the way to live. And maybe it is. The problem with The Doors, in many ways a complete and engrossing biopic, is that it doesn't offer an alternative view. We never actually get to know the person behind the myth. Instead we get an uninhibited celebration and hyperbole of the myth. Stone's visionary approach also has its advantages, however, and one of them is that it connects his images closer to The Doors' music and Morrison's lyrics. For large portions of its running time, the film is like a continual music video, with a thematic line from a certain childhood experience of Morrison's. There are abundances of snakes and moons and death, and if we don't get to know the everyday man that Morrison also must have been, we certainly get to know some of the demons which eventually led to his demise. And we get to know, or rather revisit, some brilliant pieces of music and a couple of legendary live acts, most notably The Doors' famous performance of "The End" from the Whisky a Go Go nightclub. Val Kilmer gives an invested, close to complete performance as Morrison a performance which could also have been moving had Stone given him more real emotion to work with.

Copyright 20.11.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang