Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIFF 2014 Review: NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Jeff Radice
Synopsis: A look into the life of former MLB pitcher, Dock Ellis

Pitching a no-hitter, or a no no, is quite difficult. Any baseball fan knows when a pitch accomplishes this feat, it's something for the record books. It's only happened 282 times since 1876. One of the most infamous no-hitters was pitched by Dock Ellis in 1970, in which he supposedly pitched while under the influence of LSD. But NO NO is more than just a retelling of that event, it tells the story of a man who strived for perfection while trying to maintain his identity in a racially charged sport.

NO NO is well made with a variety of interviews from people who knew Dock Ellis in his personal and professional life, including Ron Howard. We trace through every aspect of Dock's life from his small upbringing to making it in the big league. Dock had a naturally ability, but as his teammates pointed out, he always strived for perfection. As the pressure of the game mounted coupled with the racially charged era, Dock turned to drugs to help him focus and perfect his game. Of course, almost all players were using during this time.

To understand all you need to know about Dock, there's a point where his teammates recounts the first time he met Muhammad Ali. While most people would be in awe of meeting Ali, Dock tries to go fist for fist and spar with him. But that's how he was. No one intimidated him.

What made Dock stand out was his attitude toward outsiders. He had the personality to go against the establishment and didn't care what people thought. If social media had existed in the 60's and 70's, there would have been have been a story about him almost every week. He stirred the pot and didn't care. His life was far from glamorous, with heartbreak of two failed marriages and the death of one of his closest confidants. But ever resilient, he battled a path of redemption leaving a legacy of hope.

It would have been easy for this film to just focus on that infamous day in 1970, but what transpired was a film about a flawed man who overcame his demons. He will always been known for his "no no", but this film will definitely shed light on his whole story, which is much more telling.

No comments:

Post a Comment