Review: Supersonic

Title: Supersonic
Rating: R
Director: Mat Whitecross
Starring: Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Mark Coyle, Alan McGee
Runtime: 122 Minutes 

What It Is: From award-winning director Mat Whitecross and the Academy Award-winning team behind ‘Amy‘ & ‘Senna’, “Supersonic” tells the phenomenal story of iconic band Oasis.

What We Think: This Noel & Liam Gallagher approved documentary documents the band’s lifespan from the early 90’s to their break up in 2008 and contains all the usual stereotypical things you might expect such as fisticuffs, ego, bravery, violence, and insanity.  The band’s career though is not the subject here, it focuses on the rise of the band, the period from birth to its two concerts at Knebworth.

Supersonic is wildly entertaining and is a blast of energy, there are few musical successes in history quite like the one-two punch of Definitely Maybe and What’s The Story Morning Glory and the film’s mix of interviews, concert scenes and unseen footage absolutely floored me. Even the die-hard fans will be impressed with concert footage from the famous Glasgow gig where they were first spotted by McGee, the founder of Creation Records.

The Knebworth gigs surely represent the apex of Oasis’s popularity but the film ends with this and this will disappoint some fans because I know I was hoping for some light being shed on the 2007 bust up but this was not covered. Another aspect which was missing was the drug-fuelled excess of Be Here Now and perhaps it’s understandable why Whitecross decided to end proceedings with the Knebworth gigs as Oasis never re-captured those highs again. I felt Whitecross could have covered their influences a lot more too, there was no mention of The Beatles, Stone Roses and The Smiths for example. Interestingly, Whitecross chooses to only use voiceover, we never see modern day Liam or Noel and I feel this would have worked better as often watching them speak is far more interesting than anything they actually say.

Surely though the unsung hero of the piece is mom Peggie Gallagher, a hard-working, loving figure who once held down three jobs. Her husband was physically abusive and some scenes described by her and her sons are harrowing. Psychologically, we learn a lot about the Gallagher brothers here and the re-appearance of their father at the height of their fame is really sad and I can certainly understand their anger at him.

Our Grade: B+, Even with the minor quibbles I referred to earlier we are left with a film which is undeniably strong and hugely entertaining. I still feel that there is a great epic full account of the Oasis story to be told and my only logical criticisms only relate to what was left out. Above all else, the documentary captures the feeling of Oasis taking over the world marvelously.

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Lee Rothery Written by: