Thursday, 7 September 2017
If you're only going to watch one Netflix Original Documentary this week it should be....Icarus
The quality of programming available on Netflix is well known and documented by many from the vast selection of quality TV series to the rich catalogue of excellent films. The quality of Netflix original produced material is also quite high with fantastic TV series being joined more and more in recent months by new and exciting films. It is however in the documentary field that Netflix really shines having cultivated some top drawer educational, entertaining and often controversial pieces of film that have engrossed their viewing public with Making a Murderer, 13th and the Keepers being prime examples of these quite extraordinary investigatory reports. You can now add Icarus to this list of high quality documentaries available to view on this superb streaming service.
Written and directed by Bryan Fogel, Icarus sees the film maker set out to uncover the truth about doping in sports but a chance meeting with a Russian scientist flips his story from a personal experiment into something much much more.
It can difficult to review a film that contains a major tonal and thematic plot twist half way through without giving away that twist but suffice it to say that the film that begins like a sporting "Super Size Me" with Fogel taking certain risks with his health to prove a well known point but transcends quite accidentally into something a lot darker, profound and ultimately more compelling.
What transpires is not a light hearted quizzically comical documentary but an absorbing geo political thriller, filled with corruption, tension and deception that is arguably the polar opposite type of film that the director set out to make but one that is much more important.
If the viewer can remain patient through a rather novel beginning their patience will be well rewarded in what results in a fascinating documentary that more than holds it's own alongside the many high quality Netflix Original produced features. Riveting!