Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
March 6, 2006

“I’m Your Man” is not just a Concert Video but a retrospective on Leonard Cohen’s thought as it has played out musically over the years. But even that doesn’t capture this Music-Documentary. Much more than a song-writer, Leonard Cohen is a poet and in fact many people, over the years, have called him a modern day prophet. It is in that spirit you feel as if you are watching grateful musicians paying homage to an ancient sage, a man who not only writes well but someone who, through the spirit of his words, reached into their imagination and gave them something priceless. The movie is in no way comprehensive but you still come away with a deeper insight into what makes such a mind tick.

The film meanders and weaves, not unlike a poem, through images, words and performances. The snippets of poems and reveries span his early days when he was a novice with earnest beginnings to his later life where Buddhism captured his attention and he became somewhat of a “roguish” monk. Every bit of his life embodied the deepest of the deep but always with a smirk and a chuckle not far away. Bono put it best when he said something like “he was someone who dared to go to the edge of the abyss and look down and when he got there was able to laugh and see the humour of it all” – not because he didn’t get it but exactly the opposite – he got it. Paul put it another way – “There was nothing dualistic about Cohen, he is completely paradoxical”. What seems and feels so opposed at first glance, Cohen brings these opposites together effortlessly and truthfully in his words. The performances in the movie are not those of the high-brow or well-known but musicians, who appear odd and misfit, bring the words and what lies behind the words to life. What better way to give this old poet and his message his due.

Rating: Erik had several comments – “Cohen is much more humble than I expected” – partly due, I’m sure, to being in his late 70’s and finally a comment that in a sense captures his essence. “Cohen is deep, not because he can put words together really well, but because he captures a deep religious and spiritual truth”. A TRUTH beneath the truth. The Chimp and her family loved this movie.