My Review of "Dolly Parton: Here I Am"
A documentary that highlights the life of Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton: Here I Am is a documentary that I would have thought they'd have made a long time ago. After watching the documentary though, I have a better understanding of why a documentary was probably hard to make. She lived a very interesting life and I keep forgetting how much Dolly has accomplished over the last 50 years. She's one of those old school people that is quite endearing but also difficult to explore.
The film starts out much like the Netflix special Quincy. It's actually pretty much the same formula as the other Netflix documentary. The difference is that Dolly is getting ready to perform at the world famous Grand Ole Opry after 50 years.
They then go back in time to talk about Dolly's modest beginnings. We learn about how she started out in the music industry. She was basically a prodigy from the very beginning. She had the voice, the looks, the intelligence and the proper attitude. At a very early age she already knew that she wanted to be a star and that's what she was destined to be.
You also have to consider the time that she was getting into the industry too. It wasn't necessarily easy for a beautiful young woman to just break into the industry. She was able to battle in a male dominated industry in her own way. It seemed from the very beginning she always had a strong and proud voice to stand up for herself. This was pretty vital in all of her successes.
Throughout her career she was apparently sponging information from everyone around her and utilized these nuggets of knowledge to help build her brand and artform. It's actually quite fascinating how she never really grew a big head. She would always be open to hear ideas and continually grow from all of the things she was learning. Still today she's evolving as an artist and it's sad to say but just now she's starting to get recognition for her song writing abilities.
The reason she's had problems being taken seriously is because of her look. On the surface she looks like a beautiful woman and the general public can't accept a beautiful woman as being gifted artistically. Even more interesting is that her big and beautiful persona was her own creation and in the end it had become part of her successful brand. In some ways, her look had helped her in much of her success as well.
That's not to say she doesn't have talents in singing as well. She has an incredible voice and she also knows how to work a crowd. Being so personable is one of Dolly's great gifts in the entertainment industry. You just can't help but love her persona. She's got this loving and accepting personality that I think everyone can fall in love with.
Though we don't really know who the real Dolly is. A lot of her good friends don't really know what she looks like without her wigs and makeup. She is also very distant when it comes to her personal life. She's utterly professional at all times. All she talks about is the business and the music. There's barely anything talked about concerning her past besides things that they can research themselves.
I think this may have been the reason why it would have been difficult for anyone to make a documentary on Dolly. She's a very private person and in a lot of documentaries the filmmakers usually try to find dirt on the person to paint an accurate picture of the person being talked about. In this case, we have all the surface information but we don't really get into the nitty gritty info about her personal life.
Still this isn't a bad thing because she's lived such an illustrious career and it still seems to be going on strong. There's more than enough content for them to fill a 2 hour documentary. I would have loved it if they explored some of her darker sides but I'm sure they couldn't get this information even in today's information age.
Overall, I didn't know too much about Dolly Parton until this documentary and now I'm more interested. That just proves how good of a documentary it is. I was highly entertained so I have to give this one an 8 out of 10. It would have been perfect if they were able to explore more of her personal life but this is still great as well.