“”I Am Heath Ledger” is for the millions of fans out there who still have little drops of sadness hidden in the corner of their eyes. Shed a tear or two, the man deserves it!”
In a film that recounts Heath Ledger’s young and energetic lifestyle to his unforeseeable and tragic death, the most touching moment comes when Ben Harper, his old friend and accomplice is asked by Ledger to write a lullaby for his daughter. “Nothing has ever been asked of me that was that precious,” says Harper as he is seen playing ‘Happy Everafter in Your Eyes.’ Though, the documentary cheats on the viewers by not only falsifying its title of being a first person account, there is an abundance of essential and emotionally draining context in here that will resonate deeply with almost everyone on the planet who had a deep empathy for the actor who went away too soon.
The film documents Heath’s life from a young dedicated boy to a star who wasn’t really aware that fame was never really his thing. It moves through his life and the very close people who he always kept close as they felt like home to him. The film is more about the overly energetic artist who not only could spot his own talent but always wanted every other talent close to him getting a chance to have their voice heard.
The film answers a lot of question too, for instance, the joker’s constant lip-licking thing and why did he choose to star in ‘A Knight’s Tale’ in spite of the over the top fight sequences where Queen’s track played in the background. But mostly, the film is about how this young man could never switch his brain off. His friends and close co-stars remember about his phone calls at odd timing, and him showing up at their door for an early breakfast. Heath was, as they say – a force to be reckoned with. Though, he never really got to direct a feature film, his constant fixation to the camera and capturing time really made everyone around believe that he had a great future behind the camera too.
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Talking about the film and what it captures, “I Am Heath Ledger” doesn’t really dig deep beneath the roots. While it does cancel out the myth that playing the joker took Heath’s life, it does not really good beyond portraying its central figure as a loving person. Sure there’s a degree of well-intentioned approach and the director duo have cut their shots into film reels which give it more depth but something always seems amiss. The documentary makes a convincing argument that Ledger was, in fact, a grand human being (cue – to the various cut of Australian actors gathering in his LA home because they didn’t have a place to stay), but somewhere down the road, my tethered self wanted to know more about the paranoia and self-doubt that caused Ledger to fall into God’s grace.
Of all the things that the documentary does right, i.e keeping you engaged with a mix of Ledger’s self-shot vignettes, interviews of people from the likes of Ledger’s father to the Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee and the intrinsic use of Bon Iver’s music (paying tribute to the song he wrote about ledger), there’s a shallow introspect that just scratches the surface. For instance, Heath’s relationship with Williams hasn’t been touched upon as that would collapse the whole ‘praise-the-star’ sequencing of the documentaries narrative.
That’s being said, the film perfectly captures the energy of the lively soul that Heath Ledger was. An artist who was too alive and too in his head to have lived longer. He was not just a star but a humble human being who cared and wished people well. A legend in the eyes of the paparazzi but almost crippled by self-promotion, “I Am Heath Ledger” is for the millions of fans out there who still have little drops of sadness hidden in the corner of their eyes. Shed a tear or two, the man deserves it!