Certainly an interesting look in hindsight on the character and sexual crimes that Jimmy Saville committed. Along with interviews of past victims.
I'm a huge fan of Louis, and I hate to say that it feels as though this film was made more to put a distance and naivity onto the friendship that was once shared between the two, having said that as always Louis manages to pull good answers from the interviewees.
Reviewed by thomasjay-22018 / 10
Quite frankly an oddly structured documentary we follow Louis as he tracks down victims and explores his prior work in relation to the subject of Saville. Setting out to explore some of his "guilt" around the subject it's an interesting and no holds barred, spine tingling look at the crimes of a British public icon during the late 20th century. This is at points genuinely uncomfortable and skin crawling to see but important nonetheless. Perhaps not having as much weight behind it as other documentaries or investigative pieces which have solved issues or shed light on them, this piece is a fascinating delve into the nature of humanity and the psychology of people who've experienced trauma which as you might expect from Theroux is presented masterfully as he delves into his work and to see the impact others and himself felt
A riveting and uncomfortable exploration. Fascinating, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Louis Theroux specialises in this sort of thing, and doesn't shy away from becoming part of the story he is telling.
His carefully cultivated air of innocent naivety gets him and his crew close enough to intimately explore the inner workings of his subjects, and this Columbo-like tactic has served him very well as an interviewer and documentarian over the years.
But when in 2000 he chose Savile as his subject, the innocence and naivety that usually got him the required dirt instead backfired and kept him from seeing and exposing what should have been obvious. Fifteen years later, this film explores Theroux's thoughts and feelings about the time he spent with Savile, and how he could have missed the signs.
In a way, the interviews with some of Savile's victims, friends, and associates, are almost redundant, as the clear focus and interest of this film is Theroux's need to understand how he was so thoroughly hoodwinked and explain himself, both as a journalist and as a man who briefly befriended a monster.
This is a highly watchable piece of filmmaking, which is for the most part honest, raw, and self aware. It doesn't sugar-coat anything, nor does it use any cheap tricks or gimmicks to over-sell the creepiness of its subject matter. Apart from a tendency towards the ominous use of sinister-looking freeze-frames, this film essentially tells its story straightforwardly. The subject matter and footage provide all the necessary thrills and chills without need of further embellishment.
All in all, a very solid piece of documentary filmmaking.