Becoming (2020)

Available on Netflix

“Becoming” is a Netflix documentary that is centered around the former first lady, Michelle Obama, and her tour for her autobiography, “Becoming”. I was actually pretty excited to watch this because the majority of the soundtrack was made by one of my favorite jazz musicians, Kamasi Washington. It was also going to be interesting to see the Mrs. Obama’s perspective on the whole situation and the struggles she had to go through as the first lady and maybe even learn something about her that I hadn’t known before.

After watching this documentary, I could say that I’m pretty disappointed. Although I did enjoy the soundtrack (Kamasi you’re amazing), I feel like it carried the documentary too much. Instead of using music as a way to help match the tone of the movie, it insists that the viewer needs to feel a certain way. For example, there were moments when the score would present this feeling of motivation, while the tone of the movie wasn’t really showing much motivation. It was kind of a hit or miss. My other big gripe with the documentary was that I really didn’t get to see the personal side of Mrs. Obama until the second half of the movie which isn’t good. Something I really enjoy when watching documentaries is seeing a whole different view on a person and how they see life and for the majority of this documentary it played it safe. It seemed like a lot of it was very pc and inoffensive. It eventually does get a lot more personal with the former first lady discussing the way she had to deal with the media and people and how that can hurt someone mentally after so long. The fact that something as small as how she was dressed meant so much kind of goes to show how on edge she always had to be. If your outfit isn’t approved by the general public then everyone will immediately try to judge you and assume the type of person you are solely by that. We see that type of behavior not only being showed towards Mrs. Obama but anyone that is even remotely popular. So seeing her view on that and other things was actually a plus for me. However, the first half of the documentary being so underwhelming was just a big downside for me. Comparing this to something like “The Tiger King” where in just one episode you learned so much about the people and their true nature and intentions, “Becoming” left a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t say that “Becoming” was awful but just very mediocre and safe.

My Rating: 5/10

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