There is a lot to be said for Gareth Wood's question in his review when he asked; are documentaries just intended to provide people with information about the past that used to be common knowledge to anyone who was vaguely aware of the news?
If you are already aware of Fischer the man or are a fan of his chess, then I suspect this film is not going to offer you much in the way of additional insight. That said, those paying a first visit into his world should be delighted as it paints (albeit in the broadest brushstrokes possible) a compelling picture of a brilliant but ultimately broken individual.
Although the technical elements of his chess are largely sacrificed in the interests of producing a commercially viable film, it vividly communicates many elements of Fischer's unique physical attributes; the often commented upon swagger as he walked and the changing look in his eyes over the years from alert intelligence to a kind of tired pleading at the end are successfully rendered in film for all to see.
The documentary tries hard to not judge its subject although ultimately, it seems to arrive at the same conclusion that many who knew him also came to i.e. Bobby Fischer was a very troubled individual but in the end, his incredible chess talent acted as a portal into the game for an entire generation of devotees and for that we do owe him a huge debt of thanks. Respect for Fischer himself might be another matter entirely.
11 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?