The problem with writing about movies all the time is that you find out so much about it before it’s even finished filming, so that when you go to see it there’s often an anti climax or, if there is a surprise, no surprise at all. It can be quite frustrating not to see a movie afresh and your expectations be lifted or even shattered.
The interesting thing about this movie is that it did the exact opposite, and it brought back this feeling. Within the first twenty minutes I was stunned at what was happening to this man and the facts and figures that were revealed.
The opening of the movie bombards you with some astounding figures about the state of health of us all, and where the highest statistics of obesity are and how they’ve grown over the years. Well I say us all, but it is an American documentary.
After that the film maker reveals his premise. He’s going to eat McDonalds for a month and see what harm it will do him. Extreme, he agrees, and he totally acknowledges the rights of the individual to choice – they can easily walk past the fast food outlet – but then he has just as much ammunition for why you don’t.
The effects on the body and personality are amazing to watch, and quite frankly astounding. What really grabs you and wakes you up to the dangerous qualities of this diet are the Doctors involved in monitoring his health on a regular basis. They all begin on a quite relaxed and optimistic note, some body levels of fat and carbohydrate may rise but there shouldn’t be a problem.
Within weeks they’ve totally changed their opinion and the warning signs are beyond the dangerous levels. It actually gets to the point that the Doctor compares him to an alcoholic and warns him to stop before he does himself permanent damage, or even kills himself. Even they are astounded at the effects on his body.
Morgan Spurlock is indeed a brave man, and his desire to show the perils of fast food, the mixed and blatantly wrong messages from both the Government and the industry itself and the general state of health of his country drive him to continue with the experiment.
This is compelling watching and full of logically, well presented facts which cannot fail to persuade you what and who are at fault. The simple courtroom admissions of the fast food companies are shocking, and leave you wondering if the convenience is at all worth it.
Without a doubt you have to watch this movie and understand what this food is doing to our bodies. Not only that, but to see what the new so called healthy options are, and are not, delivering to you.
The only negative things I’d say about this movie are that it’s quite clear that Spurlock is an extremely healthy man before going into this documentary, and this presents a far too good starting example of his fellow American. However, pretty soon, as he gets used to the amount of food, you realise it’s actually a really good starting point, a baseline if you like.
There’s also a distinct lack of what the other options should be. A brief mention of a man who has been through the Subway diet doesn’t make any comparisons or conclusions about that type of food. I think with so many people seeing this movie who can’t decide for themselves not to go into a fast food establishment, it would have been good to hand feed them what is a better option, and why.