Soaked In Bleach
I wasn’t a fan of Kurt Cobain nor Nirvana at the time when they became huge house-hold names in the Nineteen-Nineties. I’m just as clueless about who most of these superstars are or were at the time and I have a vague memory about the rest. I can tell you who a few of them are with the mere fact that they’re performers during the Grunge Music scene while I was in college the first time around, but I couldn’t name two songs if my life depended on it. I’m impartial enough to let my feelings about these performers sway my opinions about this film.
So I have no emotional involvement, either way, I'm not prejudiced towards either Mr. Cobain or Ms. Love so I if this is true or absolute lies it's not going to make me feel one way or another. If Courtney Love killed her soon-to-be ex-husband Kurt Cobain, or if Kurt Cobain's death was an actually homicide makes no difference to me… it is what it is.
With that said, If what’s documented in this documentary is true means that everything we believe we know about the police and how they handle celebrity deaths should be over-looked and overhauled.
At the center of this interpretation of these events is Tom Grant, a former police officer and sheriff's deputy turned private detective who was hired by Courtney Love (portrayed in some of the re-enactments by Sarah Scott,) to find her husband, Kurt. Immediately from the first meeting it's clear that this woman is up to ‘something,' but it's not clear whether or not she's genuinely concerned for her husband and she actually wants him found, or that she's using Mr. Grant and his detective agency as a future alibi.
We, the audience, know about this possibility thanks to the set up given to us by Mr. Grant in the introduction and set-up of this documentary; we're told that if Courtney Love could have done this all over again that she wouldn't have hired him in the first place. Once he was on to her and figured out that her motivation in highering him wasn't entirely out of concern for Kurt, Mr. Grant became more concerned about the actual truth and not just serving his client.
Mr. Grant is first hired by Ms. Love to find Kurt whom we all "know" that he's suicidal. "Just read or listen to his lyrics," we're told. "Just read and listen to his interviews," we're told. It's so obvious that Kurt Cobain is suicidal! It's public knowledge that he's been wanting to die for many reasons.
We’re given the background expose on Mr. Kobain, that he was born in a depressed and depressing part of the country. His family life was screwed up, he's addicted to heroin, he has chronic stomach pain, and he overdosed in Rome while he was on tour…
We're lead to believe that he wants to die and that he has the means to die thanks to his buddy and personal assistant Dylan Carlson. Actually… I really don’t know who or what Dylan Carlson is, besides a fellow drug addict, confidant of Ms. Love and Mr. Cobain. His allegiances seem to bounce back and forth between the two until it's clear that in Mr. Cobain's absence he only had one person left to serve as his steady supplier of drugs.
It’s through Dylan Carlson that Mr. Grant is lead around the countryside between Los Angeles and Seatle, to every fancy hotel, to every dicey motel, to various cabins and vacation homes… but not to their actual home outside the city of Seatle until a day or two before Kurt Cobain's body was eventually found. Carlson and Grant would go to one location and found Kurt wasn't there, Carlson would call Ms. Love and she would tell the two of them (via Dylan Carlson and only Dylan Carlson) to check another place… then another place, then another place… until finally the home where Ms. Love and Mr. Kobain shared.
It’s there at their Seatle home where we see some evidence that’s “clearly” staged. There are letters that are left by their live-in Nanny who wasn’t around the first time Dylan Carlson that Tom Grant first visited the house, Courtney Love insisted that Kurt left her a letter under her pillow days after Dylan Carlson and Mr. Grant unmade the bed and flipped it over in the search for his shotgun…
… The story gets even more complicated with the introduction of Love's and Cobain's lawyer and Godmother of their daughter; Rosemary Carroll. Ms. Carroll insists time and again that Cobain wasn't ready to end his life but was preparing to end his marriage with Courtney Love. This is also one of the most prominent figures in this dialog that insist that the final sentence of the now famous suicide letter were, in fact, a forgery.
… And she found someone’s practice sheet in her mountain of evidence gathered around the time of Kurt Cobain’s death.
We are then introduced a cast of characters who investigated the scene of Kurt Cobain's death, including the first responders and a cavalcade of police officers and investigators who bungled the case for their own individual purposes are those?
… I can't even begin to tell you without throwing words around like "greed, conspiracy, incompetence, ” and run the risk of this group of idiots coming after The Fedora Chronicles with a slander or liable suit, even though the truth is a perfect defense.
And in our corner (meaning fellow truth seekers,) this documentary has a handful of experts who explain in great detail how The Seatle Police Department and investigators screwed this case up with their own prejudices and rush to judgment the day Mr. Corbain was discovered dead because… why? Didn't they want the media circus that follows a controversial celebrity death?
This is a “Film Noir” or “Neo-Noir” documentary, it has everything you need for true Noir starting with a Femme Fatale, a private detective being lead around like an idiot only to reveal himself to have been playing the fool just to see where it leads him and what the villains are up to. It also has a handful of pawns working for both sides, allegiances that flip once or twice, and idiot policemen and investigators who are outed to be on the take… there are also a couple of scenes in the dark and the rain that give the viewer that genuine noir vibe.
In short, it's a fedora or two shy of a perfect movie. On that basis alone, it's a perfect who-done-it, ideally to watch at night, in the dark with the shades drawn. It works on a mere entertainment value. Whether or not the conclusion of this movie is correct is almost irrelevant because the reopening of this case isn't up to us, the audience. If you enjoy mysteries that leave you hanging and asks that you come up with your own conclusions then you'll enjoy this flick.