Soaked in Bleach full movie review - A waste of time.
Benjamin Statler's "Soaked In Bleach" is blunt and upfront about it's subject matter.
The arguments presented in the film is about how the Seattle Police Department didn't properly investigate the death of Kurt Cobain and the suspicious behavior of Courtney Love and the inconsistencies in the death scene suggest that further investigation regarding Cobain's death is warranted. The majority of the film comes from recordings provided by Tom Grant, a seasoned investigator who was hired by Courtney Love days before Cobain's body was discovered. Grant claims that he was at Cobain's house the day before his body was discovered with Dylan Carlson (Cobain's friend), however neither looked inside the Greenhouse to find Cobain. Grant's recordings reveal Courtney Love's admittedly odd behavior, however Grant uses her odd behavior as a means of accusing her of being tied to Cobain's death and completely ignores the fact that odd behavior is not uncommon amongst junkies. This is only the tip of the ice berg of the participants of this film jumping to extreme conclusions.
"Soaked In Bleach" is riddled with reenactments directed by Statler of Grant's version of events which are accompanied by the actual voices of Grant, Love, etc. The scenes play out like bad crime shows and present a heavy bias in favor of Grant. Love is always half-naked, doing drugs, behaving in a flirtatious manner with her friends and to tip it all off, there's this strange instagram-esque filter which makes every meeting in a dark, smoky room. Even if these scenes are an exaggeration, it's so far a stretch from reality that the scenes would have been much stronger without the obnoxious bias against Courtney Love. Towards the end of the film, the actor of Kurt Cobain himself is shown, and the audience see's what he was doing leading up to the events of the murder. In this small segment, there's a heavy bias towards Cobain and he's presented as a perfect, extremely likable human being. This technique constantly sabotages any realistic arguments that the film could make due to it's exaggeration.
While the participants of the film spend their time pointing out the inconsistencies of the death scene, ironically, they spend time having flaws within their own arguments and as a result make leap over logic to stumble to their conclusions. For example, they disregard Cobain's lyrics as having no bearing on the theory that Cobain is depressed and Cobain's family and friends deny the sentiment. Meanwhile, it doesn't cross anyone's mind that victims of depression typically aren't openly suicidal. Albeit while there are some victims of clinical depression who ARE openly suicidal à la Manic Street Preacher's Richey Edwards, it isn't totally implausible that Cobain's positive demeanor was merely a front. They stage a scene in which Carlson is supposed to discuss matters with Carlson but he instead decides to take drugs with Love. Grant uses this as evidence of a conspiracy betwixt the two despite the fact that these people were open drug addicts, Love especially. This is massive conclusion jumping on Grant's part, and why Grant didn't choose to just speak to Carlson on another day is beyond my comprehension.
Furthermore, "Soaked In Bleach" states that the failure of the Seattle PD to process the pictures of Cobain's dead body is somehow proof that Cobain didn't kill himself. In the hypothetical situation that Cobain WAS murdered, it's only pure speculation that Love did it, and they fail to explain how she would've gone about killing Cobain in the first place. It's never explained how she would've gone about killing Cobain--did she hire someone to kill him? Did she kill him herself? Did she make a clone of herself to fly to Cobain's location and kill him? These questions are never explored and they just jump to the conclusion that the fact that Cobain and Love were having relationship difficulties is proof that Love killed him. Even if Cobain was murdered, it for some reason had to be the fault of Love. Courtney Love is simply an easy target because of the relationship problems, and to imply that someone else may have did it is considered implausible to the filmmakers.
"Soaked In Bleach"'s problems do not stem from the conclusions themselves, but rather how those conclusions are reached. Whether or not you believe Cobain was murdered have no bearing on the filmmaking, but the filmmaking here is simply bad. A thorough documentary which presents both sides of the story and goes about it by NOT demonizing either of the sides and making biased reenactments would have been a much more worthwhile film. Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act Of Killing" is a perfect example of an unadulterated film. The people we see interviewed are simply allowed to speak and give their own perspectives, and the audience is allowed to form their own conclusions based on the film that is being shown. There is no bias against or advocating the actions and words of these people, it is shown in it's purest, unfiltered form. No fancy camera angles and smoky rooms. These people speak about their own atrocities and don't expect the audience to side with them. If Statler were to make a film with the same subject matter, there would be watered down and biased reenactments of the actions of Indonesian gangsters accompanied with spooky illuminati background music. Statler wanted to provide the truth yet it all looks and sounds artificial.