Soul brother, the godfather of Funk, the hardest working man in show business, sex machine, or you can just call him James Brown. Mr. Brown was always well known for his high-octane performances, drenched in sweat and releasing pure energy and passion through the audience and his band, but life wasn’t always so easy. Growing up, James Brown lived with his parents in a wooden shack, in poverty ridden South Carolina. His life changed when he moved to Georgia to stay with his aunt and this is where he discovered gospel music in his local church; so intrigued that he took up singing and the rest is history.
Recent newcomer to the scene Chadwick Boseman, who has recently soared through the roof of stardom after landing the role of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is already proving to be one of the most exciting actors around at the moment, and he cements that place for a long time after an unforgettable performance as James Brown. Get on up follows James Brown’s journey from a wooden shack to the biggest stages into the world, and his struggles with his band when they were not getting paid to dealing with past demons that haunt him throughout his life. Chadwick Boseman’s performance is one of the best acting performances this year; with the acting this year being very strong, the Academy have another act to consider!
Directed by Tate Taylor, well known for directing the Oscar nominated film The Help has delivered another brilliant film! A great ensemble of cast help along the way too, but Chadwick Boseman absolutely steals the show, just like Mr.Brown himself. The running time of the film is the one thing I will criticize; there is a lot of material in the film that could have been cut out to shorten the film which would certainly of made it a much better film, but that’s picking really, Get On Up is full of energy, soul and career defining performances.
The highs and lows of James Brown’s life is an interesting watch, especially for people who don’t know James Brown. The film opens up to James Brown storming into a strip mall where his private bathroom has been used; storming in, shotgun in hand threatens the people who used his bathroom and accidentally shoots the gun and attracts the police, which isn’t the first time in his life. From lows like that, to the highs of going all the way to Paris and playing one of the biggest stages in the world and proving his dominance in music back in the 60’s and 70’s. James Brown sums up his life in one sentence when he is talking to his mother later on in the film; “There ain’t nothing to cry about, I’m James Brown”.
The confidence oozes through Chadwick Boseman as James Brown on screen and the energy that he displays in the film goes through the screen. You can feel every scream in your throat and feel every inch of sweat on his face. Get on Up is a brilliant biopic about of the greatest singers of all time, and the film portrays that brilliantly and focuses mainly on the best side of James Brown. 4 out of 5 stars!