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REVIEW Cobain: Montage of Heck

Cobain: Montage of Heck, USA 2015 | 132mins

Dir: Brett Morgen

In 1991, little known band called Nirvana exploded onto the world stage with their album, Nevermind. With their infectious mix of punk-pop-rock and anti-establishment views, Nirvana quickly became the band that everyone wanted to see, hear and idolise. But for their mysterious front-man, Kurt Cobain, the price of this meteoric rise may have been too much to take.

Home movies of Cobain as a child show a happy, energetic and eager to please blonde haired toddler, always busy, by his own mother’s description. This busyness was later diagnosed as ‘a problem’ for which the ADHD drug Ritalin was prescribed. As he entered his teens and his parents divorced, his happy family life was destroyed and his behaviour became unmanageable. Cobain was shuttled between various family members, often for only weeks at a time, until they too were unable to cope with his behaviour.

The documentary follows this early life, through the forming of Nirvana, his relationship with Courtney Love and the birth of his child right up to the sadness of his untimely death. Since his death in 1994, Kurt Cobain has become an even greater pop culture icon than he could ever have imagined during his fast and epic rise to fame with the band Nirvana. An icon that it seems that he may not quite have wanted to be.

What Director Brett Morgen has created is a beautiful and affecting film, an in-depth study on the legend that is Kurt Cobain; as told by Cobain’s own journals, cleverly animated artwork and video and audio recordings by the man himself. Interviews are conducted with those who were close to the man himself, but are cleverly limited to those with genuine insight to give. This unfettered access has produced what may come to be considered the most complete documentary on the musician.

Cobain: Montage of Heck is in cinemas now, available on digital download on April 24 and on DVD and Blu-ray from April 27.