About – Miles Ahead is a biopic of Miles Davis, who was a jazz musical, ‘social music’ as he called it. It is a chapter of his life, at the last couple of weeks of him being in hiding for 5 years.
Miles Davis was played by the incredible Don Cheadle. Who played Miles beautifully, he really got the right vocals for the voice and the swag that Miles actually had. You really felt like you knew Miles Davis, through this performance. This is unique to hear from a biopic, because usually they don’t fulfil the performance when the character is someone real.
Miles Davis is the sort of character that you want to keep an arm’s length from, you really don’t know when he will turn round and be vicious with you. This is a heart racing and tense biopic of Miles Davis he can be very nice to you but as soon as you get on the wrong side of Miles you regret it or stand up for yourself. Just like Dave Brill (Ewan McGregor) found out, with the infamous quote ‘If you’re going to tell a story, come with some attitude’. I really enjoyed how Miles was portrayed during the film; it’s not your usual biopic character of a musician with all the drugs and sex. It was only on a few occasions that you saw him with a bottle of whisky and a bag of cocaine. This was really refreshing to see and kept your mind at ease knowing that the story was leaning towards the actual Miles Davis more than the lifestyle of him in hiding.
Don Cheadle which was previously said played Miles beautifully; in fact I felt that he was exactly the right actor to take on this role. There was sometimes when Don Cheadle came out of character but it wasn’t obvious, that is my only bad word towards Don, otherwise he played an amazing role. I would say that it would be difficult to hear what Don is saying if you watched it at home on a normal TV. The way that they have edited Miles Ahead is for the cinema and not thinking about home screenings, he was quite quiet in certain areas of the film but in the cinema you couldn’t tell, I can just imagine at home it would be quiet and other audience members would find it frustrating.
Don Cheadle was also part of the screenplay and the director, which enhances what the film is all about. Don Cheadle knew what he was doing during the whole of this production/film, while having pretty much all the power in the film he wanted Miles Davis to be someone who you knew and it worked. My only concern about Miles Ahead was right at the beginning, you first see Miles Davis being interviewed with a boxing match in the background, which then starts being cut between different scenarios of the film and other bits that aren’t even in the film. Which confused me a lot to begin with, but as soon as that stopped and took control of the actual storyline, Miles Ahead was a very controlled and heart racing biopic. The concern only comes about because of the confusion of these fast pace cuts and why Don Cheadle decided to do this sort of intro to a biopic that he had so much input in.
There is a lot of confusion again with the whole storyline and why he keeps having visions and flashbacks of his wife Francis (Emayatzy Corinealdi). To me it wasn’t confusing at all; I totally understood why he was having these feelings and visions of her. The only way of getting your head around this issue is that you are having a double story being told during this film. Don’t let that put you off it all makes sense in the final act. I rather enjoyed having the two stories the present and the past; this was uplifting to see in a film like this because biopics don’t tend to have flashbacks on the present of the storyline, because you are already having an insight to the real-life character. Whereas in Miles Ahead you got to see the past which brought the whole movie together and why he was in such bad states and acting like he was towards other people.
The way that it was filmed was very strange, some parts felt like it was filmed on a handheld camera and some parts from a professional camera crew. I felt it worked in some cases but in certain areas towards the end and the beginning didn’t feel right at all. Besides that, the majority of the film looked stunning. It has the 70’s effect, not meaning of the costumes or music but there was an effect on the whole film that made it look groggy like you can imagine the 70’s would during this time period. Don’t be put off by the word groggy it is in a very good way, the visuals of this effect worked so well and it looked incredible, just imagine how you would think the 70’s looked and that is exactly how this film is portrayed to you.
Miles Ahead really puts you in the moment of Miles Davis at this time period it really gets your heart racing, with the jazz music and fast pace cutting. It really is an incredible film, I fully enjoyed this screening, it was beautifully put together and the storyline was enjoyable to follow. I would recommend people to watch it in cinemas though with the music and the dialogue enhances the performances of the characters. The reason why I haven’t talked about Ewan McGregor’s character is because I don’t want to take the limelight from Don Cheadle. Don was fantastic he performed amazingly and you really felt he wanted to be Miles and portray him in a light that was only known by people who actually knew the man himself.