A shambling, rambling, drug addled waste of a man wanders through the film surrounded by the most awful group of hangers on. There is little dialogue in this film and much of what there is doesn't make an awful lot of sense but don't be confused...this is a film that has a lot to say.
Van Sant is a film-maker who makes films that move the viewer. He has a wonderful ability to take big ideas or events and make them seem incredibly personal and relevant to the viewer. He brings us into the world he is creating and allows us to become immersed in it.
Here we get a real sense of the horror of being the adored, lauded and deified rock star. While he himself cannot cope with everyday demands like getting dressed or cooking a meal the people around him need him to sustain their lives and lifestyles. The sense of pressure on his young shoulders is almost tangible.
There is a lot of religous imagery here too...Blake (the Cobain character) is seen dressed in red and white, surrounded by nature, bathing in a stream and with tousled blonde locks like some sort of grunge Jesus. Light relief comes in the form of two young Mormon missionaries who come to share the message of the Gospel with the delinquents, drug addicts and reprobates of Blakes home.
Art-house cinema for sure and not a biopic like "The Doors" but a gem of a film.