It is said behind a great man, stands a woman. Yet, Michelle Obama has proved she is not only a woman behind a great man but is force to reckon with by being the man herself. She has changed the world in her own way. In the latest Netflix original documentary ‘Becoming’ you will see the reasons why she should be considered one of the greatest First Ladies the US has ever had.
In case you’re not aware, the film is named after her 2018 best-selling memoir of the same name. This is the first feature film directed by Nadia Hallgren, the cinematographer who created the award-winning TV programme ‘She’s the Ticket’.
‘Becoming’ starts with the 44th First Lady of the US leaving her home, listening to ‘A God Like You’ by Kirk Franklin for inspiration, as she is getting her mind ready for her 34-city book tour. The director follows Michelle throughout her tour, filming her travels, talk shows and motivational meets with a wide range of underprivileged peoples, from African-American women living on minimum wages to the Native American college students.
Through her interviews with America’s most popular TV talk show hosts including Oprah Winfrey and Conan O’Brien and her own narration, the film gives an intimate look on Michelle Obama’s life, especially her inspiring journey from a Chicago girl from an African American family suffering from racism and glass ceilings to a lawyer graduating from Harvard and later being the First Lady of the States. Having achieved more than most people in their lifetime, Michelle questions what’s next for her.
The one-hour documentary has three elements with each contributing in its own way to make it wholesome. The first is humour involving political and family jokes which will make the viewer’s laugh. The second is the emotional narrative which makes you cry. The third is the vivid portrayals of Michelle Obama in the most honest and modest manner.
In the docudrama, Michelle mentions she has problems staying on script. This may be why her portrayal of herself is very natural even without any experience or exposure of the performing arts. She looks and sounds like a stand-up comedian when she tells jokes, and can cry when emotions get the better of her.
‘Becoming’ offers the close-up look on a woman who critics and admirers have been trying to understand for years, but more importantly it is the valuable messages and inspiration the film conveys which is the attraction. For example, in addition to the classic “do not let people tell you what you can or cannot do”, Michelle urges people to find their own potential and be proud of their identity. She is not even afraid to admit the American couple go for marital counselling.
‘Becoming’ is a film, leaders either today’s or tomorrow’s, need to watch. In fact, this is one film which should be on everyone’s bucket list.
- Tags: Michelle Obama