If there ever was an English speaking film that required subtitles, “Oasis: Supersonic” is the one. Whether it’s early rehearsal footage in 1992 or interviews just before their massive 1996 concert at Knebworth, Noel and Liam Gallagher are difficult to understand, both literally and metaphorically.
The insanity that surrounded the meteoric rise (and some might say fall) of Oasis seems fully logical. If you factor in that this band of already rowdy ruffians went from nobodies to international superstars in just under five years, it almost makes sense for there to be growing pains. Now, do “growing pains” account for a week long binge on crystal meth? Perhaps not.
If there is one message that director Mat Whitecross’ documentary more than gets across is that the Gallagher brothers aren’t interested in your judgement. They simply wanted to be the biggest rock band on Earth, which at one point was actually fact. This well made, informative, and surprisingly hilarious documentary doesn’t pull punches in regards to the band’s behavior, but does slightly sugarcoat, if not totally gloss over, their rapid decline.
The personal footage is a bit lacking as the band’s history took place before camera phones invaded every moment of life. Director Whitecross amply fills in for this with the only commentary coming right from band members and those that knew them best. The interviews don’t take place on camera and many are cleverly illustrated with amusing cartoons.
“Supersonic” doesn’t provide a lot of new info for Oasis junkies, but it could shed some light for those that thought those Gallagher boys were nothing but no good troublemakers. The narration from their mother, Peggie, brings up their troubled, destitute upbringing courtesy of an alcoholic father who abandoned them at a young age. It won’t excuse their actions for many, but at the very least it brings a sense of understanding and may even elicit pity for some.
While it avoids the spat with fellow British band Blur, “Supersonic” does bring up the revolving door of musicians that followed Liam, Noel, and Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs all around the world. Much like another band full of Brits, they had to fire their original drummer, Tony McCarroll, which led to an infamous lawsuit. The original bassist, Paul McGuigan, seemingly left of his own volition due to the pressure of being in the biggest band on Earth.
Even after all the drugs and booze, the Gallagher brothers remain two extremely funny and likable fellas. Their arrogance is unmatched, but they could each teach a master class in self deprecation. It seems like only stubbornness has kept these two apart as they are now able to fully acknowledge their own faults and identify moments in which they sabotaged their own band.
“Oasis: Supersonic” doesn’t completely pull back the curtain, but it does humanize two of musics most iconic and mysterious figures. For two brothers that will go on and on about how much they despise each other, they sure have a lot of songs about how much they need each other. This documentary simultaneously makes you beg for more from this band while making you believe that it maybe should have ended before it actually did.
Audiences across the country fell in love with OASIS: SUPERSONIC this past Wednesday night, with numerous sold-out shows and incredible viewer response nationwide. The film is now available on iTunes and On Demand, and it will also be extending its theatrical run in many major markets including NY & LA due to popular demand.