About – A documentary and a behind-the-scenes film about Jim Carrey on how he portrayed Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999).
Documentaries are done to inform and teach the viewer with information they usually won’t normally know from reading Wikipedia. Weirdly, Jim & Andy doesn’t do either of these things. It is more of an insight, an understanding, into what Jim Carrey was actually like on and off set of Man on the Moon. If you aren’t familiar with Man on the Moon it’s a recreational film starring Jim Carrey, who is acting out famous stunts and acts of Andy Kaufman, a showman, comedian and an actor.
Jim & Andy opens with Jim talking directly down the camera. Talking in a soft and calming voice, truthfully speaking to the viewer, so we don’t feel interrogated by this shot angle. The film cuts between this interview room, behind the scene clips of Man on the Moon, Jim in public and footage of Andy himself.
The way that the film progresses and how Jim talks to us, is like Jim became too obsessed with Andy, that Andy literally took over Jim. However, there are other possibilities to Jim’s behaviour throughout his career let alone his actions while filming Man on the Moon.
Jim’s career took off, he was the highest paid actor at one point in the 1990’s, he was on the face of everything. Without a doubt, this type of publicity would go to your head. However, in Jim’s world and how he acted, it made people laugh, made other people feel better and he’s working.
From what Jim was saying during the documentary, it was like he had to divulge into these characters and their characteristics to get away from reality. It sounded like he didn’t have a choice, that he must be acting all the time to please everyone within the industry and everyone at home.
Bringing this into current affairs, Russell Brand did exactly the same. He was too far gone into the industry he didn’t know how to act. Russell’s escape was drugs, alcohol and sex. Whereas, Jim’s escape was to carry on acting. Jim and Russell had very similar experiences in becoming famous and wanting to please people. They couldn’t handle or in other words the industry wanted them to act like this. Probably, because it brought more money to both sides of the table.
Jim & Andy as a whole, played a very emotional side to us and to Jim because of how important Andy Kaufman was to him. Jim’s childhood and aim in life was to become an entertainer and that was influenced by Andy. So, the impact that this role had on Jim in Man on the Moon was going to be greater than anything he would imagine.
The film shows the journey that Jim goes on. Seeing every single moment from turning normal to literally turning into Andy. With behind-the-scenes footage of Jim never coming out of character and making people address him by the characters that Andy was in his sit-coms. The film finishes on what can only be described as a realisation for Jim. Jim looks dead eyed right into the camera and tears up, realising what has happened and that he wants out of this cocoon of madness and back to the norm of being alive. He stands up and says, “is that it”.
Jim Carrey has been in the spotlight lately due to the comments he has made during interviews and red-carpet events. With headlines stating that he’s ‘gone mad’, ‘he’s found Jesus’, ‘Jim has lost it’. What a society we live in today, Jim has had a realisation and that is all. Personally, I never liked Jim’s work but after this documentary my perception has changed on him. He was doing it for the industry, or the industry changed him. This documentary opens your eyes at how much effect and hard work Jim actually puts into his work, it also shows the inspiration he got from his idle, Andy Kaufman.