Alanis Morissette was a transformational determine on the music scene within the 1990s, and her 1995 album Jagged Little Tablet was a watershed second in alt-rock that paved the best way for different feminine artists. Alison Klayman’s documentary Jagged is aware of this, and but there are occasions the place it feels just like the movie is unwilling to drag again to see the ripple results of Morissette’s work and persona. It’s a documentary that dives into Morissette’s pre-Jagged Little Tablet life after which sort of disregards all the pieces that got here after the album’s tour. And but Morrissette is such a considerate and fascinating topic with an essential work to share that it’s nearly sufficient to maintain the characteristic.
Jagged performs out in two halves. There’s Morissette’s life pre-Jagged Little Tablet the place we see her as a child actor and finally Canadian pop princess who’s a far cry from the persona we’d see within the mid-90s with the album’s launch and recognition. As soon as the album hits, the story transforms to comply with her recognition and success, in addition to controversy over touring with an all-male band for such a feminist album. All through all of it, Klayman will get direct insights from Morissette in addition to her bandmates, producing accomplice, executives, and critics who focus on why Jagged Little Tablet was such an essential album and why Morissette was such a transformational power.
In its first half, Jagged is fascinating as a result of it performs like an origin story. You find out about an business that was greater than prepared to chew up and spit out Morissette like so many younger feminine artists earlier than her, and she or he as an alternative determined to make use of that ache as gas to energy her songwriting. Naturally, as is all the time the case with the tales, nobody needed the album till a lone younger government noticed its promise, and everybody was rewarded when it went to the highest of the charts because of the success of its debut single “You Oughta Know” solely to be adopted by much more hits. Klayman is greater than prepared to play out songs from the album to linger on their lyrics and the way they relate to what Morissette was rising by or how they spoke to her viewers.
However within the second half, it appears like Klayman is greedy for materials from a reasonably benign album tour. Sure, I suppose it was a bit uncommon that Morissette had an all-male band and people band members have been excited to sleep with any feminine fan with a pulse, though Morissette finally chewed them out for his or her predatory conduct. There are additionally insightful moments the place Morissette circles again to the sexual abuse she confronted as a younger pop star, however then the documentary will awkwardly shift gears to speak about what a terrific track “Ironic” is or how the media needed to categorise Morissette as an offended younger girl although many of the songs outdoors of “You Oughta Know” are extra melancholy, hopeful, and playful. With out the chronology of Morissette’s life to information the documentary, it appears like Klayman is topic-hopping with out a lot rhyme or cause for why she’s organized her documentary this manner.
That’s to not say that these assorted subjects don’t have benefit, however the throughline of the documentary will get a bit muddled, particularly when the story mainly ends with Jagged Little Tablet, which left me questioning concerning the reception and ideas on follow-ups like Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Beneath Rug Swept, and others. Or what aboutand went to jail for it? Doesn’t that create some belief points or ideas on her success not simply as a younger artist however as a majorly influential one who nonetheless fell prey to a legal? This doesn’t come up as a result of the documentary mainly jumps ahead to Morissette’s newest album, Such Fairly Forks within the Street, and that’s the top of it, which is a little bit of an anticlimactic conclusion although it’s good that she’s nonetheless on the market making music.
In the end, Jagged feels extra like a celebration for Morissette’s followers and followers of Jagged Little Tablet, which is ok. She and her album need to be celebrated. Nevertheless it solely goes so deep earlier than it begins feeling like a nostalgia piece whereas neglecting the bigger, extra fascinating questions posed by its topic. Whereas these questions do get their consideration within the first half of the documentary, they begin to fall away within the second half and what you’re left with is only a want to pop on Jagged Little Tablet once more.
Jagged will play on HBO later this fall.
Cinematographer Jeff Cutter introduced the information.
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