“Yes Noel, we could suck each other’s’ ball sacks, but then, that wouldn’t be Supersonic.”
Mat Whitecross’ turn through Oasis is incredibly funny, and one of the best documentaries of the year. Typically, with most music docs, the audience is greeted with black-and-white film. Somber music. Feigned and tutored moments of artistic pursuits. Supersonic makes the music doc fun again.
The fun is provided by Noel and Liam Gallagher. Both are always good for a quote. But here, there’s more than the sharp soundbite. Both Gallaghers are intelligent and highly self-aware of their place in rock’s pantheon. They are self-aware of each other’s talents.
The film begins and ends at Knebworth, at the time, the largest concert in British history. Attracting 250,000 attendees and 2.6 million ticket applications. In the end, we are greeted with Oasis’ rise. Liam finding music. Noel joining the band. Their first record deal. Writing “Live Forever.” Recording “Champagne Supernova.” Supersonic is packed with behind the scenes footage. Where footage does not exist, animation is used to fill-the-gaps. Noel and Liam are never seen in their present age. Instead, voiceovers are used. The choice was excellent awareness by Whitecross. Not seeing the brothers maintains the found footage’s integrity, and keeps the youthful spirit of the doc.
Hotels are smashed. Recording studios damaged. Drugs taken. Ensuing fights. However, something else is uncovered. The talent of the two brothers. Lost in tabloid hype. Lost in myth. Lost in declining album quality. Lost in the ensuing years, and by the fault of the brothers themselves, is their immense talent. At some point, it became cool to hate Oasis. You didn’t know music if you liked them. Supersonic brings a new appreciation. While neither brother would classify Oasis as artistic, their craft is on display. With every chime of “Champagne Supernova,” “Supersonic,” “Some Might Say,” “Wonderwall,”and the moving acoustic rendition of Live Forever, what made Oasis exciting, comes alive again.
The one perceived flaw of Supersonic is its ignorance of the events around the group. The events within a vacuum. The fight with Blur significantly contributed to Oasis’ quick rise, and should have been noted. No one makes it in music on guts alone. There is luck. The feud with Blur was a bit of luck.
What wins in the reflections and footage, is the humanity of both brothers. Noel and Liam as flawed humans. Liam and Noel…slowly walking down the hall…while living forever…bringing it down…taking themselves up in the sky…bringing back what was once great about Oasis.
Check out my previous review of Queen of Katwe.