A Man's Story Movie Review

By following British designer Ozwald Boateng over 12 years, filmmaker Bonicos vividly captures his subject's personality on screen while recounting his rather astounding life story. But the film remains oddly dry and superficial.

Inspired by Armani, Boateng emerged from his childhood in riot-torn 1981 Brixton to become the first black tailor on Saville Row. As the creative director of Givenchy, his influence spread out through the fashion world, even as he juggled his work with his own label and two strained marriages. By 2005, he was at the centre of the Oscar red carpet, teaching American men to stop dressing like boys and reinventing the suit with shape and colour. He was awarded an OBE from the Queen in 2006.

Narrated by the director, the film follows Boateng through the highs and lows of his career, both his triumphant, groundbreaking shows and the shattering moment when his entire collection was stolen. The cameras capture hilarious moments, such as an icy event in Russia featuring vodka, chocolate and cheese, when he made a rather striking entrance into Red Square, where people aren't used to seeing 6'4" black men. And yet we never feel like we properly get under the surface either of the designer or the fashion industry

Boateng emerges as a very cool dude who combines intelligence, charisma and stunning good looks to get pretty much whatever he wants. And it seems almost accidental that the film captures Boateng's darker side. He admits that he neglected his family in a strangely offhanded, unapologetic way, and there are eerie references to both Mugabe and Gaddafi as the film traces his humanitarian work in Africa. But Bonicos lets these things just slide by.

Fortunately, he adds artful/wacky touches (one sequence is shot under water) to the interviews, archive footage and behind-the-scenes sequences. But a lack of depth makes the doc feel overlong and repetitive. So it's a bit deflating that the most revealing thing Bonicos finds about Boateng is that he isn't hugely introspective. Indeed only thing Boateng gets excited about is conquering the world with his work, enthusing that "it's all about the experience". So while the film's lively and informative, perhaps another editor could have found the real story hidden in the overabundant material.

Cast & Crew

Director : Varon Bonicos

Producer : Alastair Clark, Rachel Robey


Comments

A Man's Story Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2011

Editors Recommendations

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Some bands are worth getting excited about and, with the festival season well under way...

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Miley Cyrus is still receiving hospital treatment for "severe allergic reaction...

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Peaches Geldof, who suddenly died at the beginning of this month (April 7th)...

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On "The Voice"

We never would have pegged Gwen Stefani as the reality talent panelist type...

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help "X-Men" Marketing

As X-Men director Bryan Singer is gearing up for his defense case, which he will have...

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Prince and Warner Bros, Records seem to have put their differences aside...

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

Lindsay Lohan really did write down her now infamous list of lovers, which has been...

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

The news that a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is definitely in the works 21 years after the 1993...

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga "Hardest Artists To Understand"

Music fans have named Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna in their top ten hardest...

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga


More recommendations