Sunday, 15 July 2012

Review: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Rating: U
Duration: 80 mins

For some, The Muppets will be forever cherished. Timeless is their appealing nature, the latest feature length, self-titled movie merely proves the insurmountable, continuous love the globe over.

This concise, yet utterly poignant documentary touches upon the story of Kevin Clash -- the man that brings the child-like voice of Elmo to life every day. Seeing him as a youngster will galvanise -- for his first puppet he resorted to taking existing in-use materials from around his home in order to craft a Henson-style muppet -- because his story comes across as a uplifting tale of achieving one's dream, but the real emotional grab of the film is how Clash uses his fame and influence to bring sheer joy to others.

Touring the famous muppet workshop is truly an eye-opening experience, as we gain a glimpse of the day-to-day goings on of both puppeteers and crafters. Clash spends a large segment of the doc showing us how much comfort Elmo can bring to children, too (ones he specifically meets are often terminally ill), with a consistent subtextual message of togetherness and making the most out of life. Not only that, but Clash remains grounded and utterly genuine as he offers a helping hand to other wannabe puppeteers yearning for the big break he so graciously received himself.

Being Elmo is a taut and wonderful insight into the world of The Muppets. It's a brief, but very inspiring documentary that is well worth seeing, not only as a suitable alternative to blockbuster fodder, but simply as a pleasingly quaint and moving documentary.