Review: 'The Beatles: Get Back'

The much awaited 'The Beatles: Get Back' has arrived on Disney +, but does it live up to the hype?

Arthur Brown
9th December 2021
Image Credit: IMDb
With a run time of almost eight hours, The Beatles: Get Back shows the title artists rehearsing and recording what would become their final album - Let It Be. In addition, Get Back is an unrivalled lens into the process, creative genius, and character of the most influential and best-selling band of all time.

Get Back is directed by Peter Jackson, universally acclaimed Lord of the Rings and They Shall Not Grow Old director, who spent four years watching and dissecting over 60 hours of film footage and 150 hours of audio recordings. The three-part documentary revolves around a 21 day period in January 1969 when the Beatles must rehearse and record their forthcoming album, to be accompanied by a live performance and film. 

It’s these moments, where we are allowed to see the creative process of these incredibly talented people, that makes Get Back indispensable for fans.

Let It Be and the accompanying 1970 documentary (from which Jackson uses and restores film), has been historically surrounded by myths of infighting and falling out. Whilst there are moments of drama, such as Harrison’s brief departure from the band and disputes over leadership and musical direction, Get Back paints an entirely different picture of the latter stages of the Beatles existence.

Never before have fans been able to see so well the undeniable chemistry that the Merseyside boys share. There’s tension at times, as there are with all friendships, but Get Back allows us to see that the Beatles were the same band, capable of making the same great music that they had in the past. Jackson does a brilliant job in lettering the natural friendships and humour of the group shine throughout the documentary, allowing the band to feel relatable, even ‘ordinary’ as they discuss what was on BBC 2 the night before. 

Get Back paints an entirely different picture of the latter stages of the Beatles existence.

As a fan of the music, the most engaging parts of the series were the conception and evolution of some of the best Beatles songs. In part one, as the band wait for a late John Lennon, McCartney spontaneously creates Get Back, adding lyrics as he pleases. In part three, with only two days to go until their live performance, the band are developing Something, which would eventually feature on Abbey Road. It’s these moments, where we are allowed to see the creative process of these incredibly talented people, that makes Get Back indispensable for fans.

For the non-fan, its long run time would feel tedious, and I don’t feel as though it will require a re-watch any time soon. This said, Get Back is a must-watch for fans, and an essential part of the Beatles story, one that continues almost fifty years after the band's separation.

Credit: Disney+ on YouTube

The Beatles: Get Back is available to stream now on Disney+

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