Wake Me Up Before You Go Go see this doc.

“Wham!” is the made-for-Netflix documentary about how Andrew Ridgeley and the late George Michael formed the pop music group Wham! in Bushey in the 1980s. It shows us their hit songs (“Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” Everything She Wants,” “Freedom,” “Careless Whisper,” etc.), their reception from the public, and the characteristics they’ve developed.

They started off bombing with some of their earlier songs not even being in the Top 100 music record, but they both eventually found the right crowd and became successful. A fanbase is required to make them reach the top.

“Wham!” may not grab everything that’s vital in their life and careers, but it still grabs some very important and complex facts about them.

George was gay, and came out to Andrew, but for obvious reasons, he couldn’t tell his father. Remember, the 80s was not really the best time to come out of the closet. And this doc is respectful and patient on the subject matter.

George knew how to write songs exclusively. In fact, he didn’t like Jerry Wexler’s version of “Careless Whisper,” and made the better version with the right saxophone players. Even Andrew approved of it being a solo song. And it was billed in America as “Wham! Featuring George Michael.”

And it also has a small Christmas spirit, as it shows us how much George Michael loved to make Christmas songs, including “Last Christmas.” And he, Sting, Bananarama, and Spandau Ballet, among others, formed the Band Aid charity music group to sing “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise funds for famine relief. This doc is released in July, and some people do celebrate Christmas in July, so it kind of makes sense.

“Wham!” knows how to be exuberant and truthful in its tribute to the band and its fallen star. As you know, George died at the age of 53 to dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver. This doc is more into their earlier days than the sad conclusion. But it isn’t a conclusion, as long as we keep listening to his songs, and what they meant to the collaborators and fans. In fact, I still listen to their songs, and I still think they have style.

Even if George became a solo artist, he wasn’t self-congratulatory and owed all his success to Andrew. He wasn’t surprised that he would be successful. There’s actual meaning in these two legends and their directions.

Seeing this on Netflix has the right spirit, especially when we see thes”e remastered music videos and their impacts on fans. It’s a shame that “Every Body,” the doc on intersex people, isn’t making an impact financially on movie goers in mainstream theaters. But “Wham!” has to bring viewers to their computer/TV screens.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Streaming on Netflix and Playing in Select Theaters

Categories: Documentary, Music

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