Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  –  The Neighborhood of Hearts

The words, ‘Won’t you be’ meant the beginning of something amazing when I was a child.  The simple song and greeting by Mr. Rogers was something that brought hope and glee.  Through innocence, there was an understanding of showing things ‘as is’ for the audience.  To see what happened behind the scenes is examined in this documentary.  Through the glimpse of those around, we come to see the greatness that made one man show kids why they are special to the world.

Being a documentary, there are things outside the bands of traditional storytelling.  This genre is all about the realism of a person or an idea.  Seeing the reality of the situation, you get an honest look at the person(s) that made things the way they are.  This is a documentary that focuses on Fred Rogers ups and downs in creating the program known as ‘Mister Roger’s Neighborhood’.  Through actual footage and testimonies from family, friends and people that worked on the show, it gave a reflection of honesty through the most poignant of lenses.  This theme stringed together the motive of the direction, forming the base of the experience.  Seeing ‘truth’ through the words of others, it layers a tone that brings emotion to real life events.  As we see Rogers build the production from the ground up, we see all the obstacles he faced with political movements, TV industry norms and monetary elements.  Through it all, that innate belief in the message made the show a thriving success for many decades.  The emphasis on child development, societal aspects and raw meaning showcased the truth of the matter.  From dire moments to the onslaught of negative voices, you see the strength of Roger’s conviction to continually show the truth towards kids.

In those moments of truth, it also brought a human side to everything on the show.  From certain elements of equality and respect, there is a shade of green of the imperfection of the man.  Even in all his delight, the fragile sense of society still brought some degree of caution in his approach.  Even so, those moments (even if barely shown), helped provide contrast to the ‘showcase’ mantra of the direction.  In the end, this is a documentary that showcases the heart of humanity, providing how we must be happy but also accept truth of tragedy.  Knowing that ‘special’ place in your heart, you will always find this man smiling and showing you the way.  This film is already out on Blu-ray, but if it was still in theaters, it is worth the price of admission.  This is a story that speaks truth to a generation, giving proof that there is still some good out there.

Final Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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