Movie Review: “Oasis: Supersonic”

Probably the first band to ever play a huge roll in my development as an individual was Oasis, the wild rock and roll creation of brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher. With the release of “Oasis: Supersonic” in 2016, I decided over the weekend to finally expand upon my knowledge of the band that I’d gained through interview clips, Wikipedia articles about Britpop and the album liner notes of “The Masterplan” compilation my dad has.

The movie was structured as mostly footage from the band’s early years with voiceover interviews from the original members, producers, tour manager and Liam and Noel’s mother, Peggy Gallagher, playing in the background. Clips of old interviews and performances often accompanied stories that were being told on voiceover.

It was wonderful to just hear the brothers and their bandmates talking from a matured distance in their music careers about the success of Oasis. It was far more personal and introspective than I imagined, and the interviews were neither angry nor did they sound not genuine. It was an honest take and reflection on the roll each member played in the band, and the roll the band played in the life and development of each member.

And I think the film did a good job of handling rough moments in both the Gallagher’s lives and the development of Oasis: the forcing out of drummer Tony McCaroll from the band, the tabloid troubles constantly surrounding the Gallaghers after they made it to the public eye, the abusive relationship Liam and Noel’s father had with the family and the attempt of their father to return to their lives when the band started getting successful so he could ride the fame too.

However, it wasn’t all serious. A lot of the movie was actually quite comical, with Liam and Noel’s reflection on all the trouble the band got themselves into with the help of hard drugs and alcohol. The scenes where they talked about their first experiences in Japan and how every fan there already knew the words to songs like “Supersonic”-which was then juxtaposed against their first America experience that the band spent accidentally high on crystal meth-added so much to the cult of personality that followed the band wherever they went.

Additionally, there were a lot of cartoons that went along with the voiceover interviews-Liam, Noel, Bonehead or Peggy would be telling a story and there would be an animation of it being acted out, often by paper-doll looking replicas of the band (with a cutout of their head superimposed on the body) in various sketched locations.

I especially loved all of the video footage featured in the film from Oasis’s early performances, interviews and especially practice sessions. Hearing the band in their beginning stages work through “All Around the World” (my first favourite song by Oasis which was released on “Be Here Now”) was beautiful.

I was kind of disappointed that the movie only really talked about the release of “Definitely Maybe” and “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” and ended with the group playing their historic sold-out Knebworth show. But, the movie was only supposed to cover the initial rise to the spotlight of the band, with Knebworth being the zenith of the film.

Still, I think a comprehensive movie about the band would’ve been fascinating, especially considering how fame and drug use really started to influence their development in the creation of “Be Here Now” (with that album sometimes being cited as the “death of Britpop”). And I’ve always been interested in 2000’s Oasis because all the material has been released in my lifetime and I like to see how bands that were the product of a certain era’s music trends translate to the modern day.

But while I would’ve liked to hear more about the “Battle of Britpop” between Oasis and Blur (the competition between if Oasis’s “Roll With It” or Blur’s “Country House” singles would sell more copies) and the Britpop movement at large, I though it was an informative and highly entertaining look into not just the dynamics of Oasis, but the dynamic of the Gallagher brothers. The film didn’t shy away from pointing out the sibling rivalry and highly different personalities and temperaments of Noel and Liam Gallagher, and their strained relationship today following Oasis’s demise. It even featured lines from their mother discussing the difference in their nature and how she wishes the brothers could have a better relationship today, but it is what it is.

But I still am optimistic thinking about all the joy the band has brought and will continue to bring to the lives of people all over the world. And of course, the film gains huge points in my book for ending with the credits rolling and the chorus of my favorite Oasis song-“The Masterplan”-on loud.

Enjoy the trailer below:

What did you think of the film? Are you an Oasis fan? How did they influence your life?

Thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

 

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