Last night BBC2 screened the much-anticipated biopic ‘Shirley’. I was really looking forward to watching it as it looked great from the trailers I’d seen but I have to admit when it had finished I was very disappointed and started to think of anything positive I could say about it.
I will say that I did like the four main actors. Ruth Negga was extremely good in what must have been a very difficult part to play. She didn’t convince me that she was Shirley but to be honest I didn’t expect her to. I have an instant dislike for anyone trying to be ‘Shirley’ that’s why I dislike these tributes acts so much! Sorry I digress …. she did however have some of the hand movements but at times I didn’t understand what she said. The Welsh accent was just too much. As for Lesley Sharp and the two main male actors I really liked but then I had no-one to compare them with as I’ve never seen any clips of their characters in real life.
My main complaint is that it just did not flow at all. It jumped from one scene to the next without any explanation of certain events that happened. It went through time at breakneck speed that I found myself trying to catch my breath! One minute she was at home with her mother and the next she was on the stairs crying that she couldn’t become a star as she had a baby. Where did the baby come from? There had been no mention previously. To my mind the whole programme just jerked along.
I was pleased the issue of race was not made a big thing. Only twice did it come into the play. Once with the leaflet in Australia and secondly regarding the film ‘Oliver’. Shirley has never made thing regarding her colour and it would have been wrong to give it prominence in this.
I wish there had been more singing (by the real Shirley) and unfortunately they cut the songs short which they did play. Before I knew it the credits were rolling and I was left feeling very frustrated. I know about Shirley. I’ve followed her for many years but I couldn’t help feeling that if I didn’t I really wouldn’t be much wiser.
Later I watched the ‘slice’ from the Electric Proms and then ‘Imagine’. Although I’ve seen them before I have to be honest and say they left me feeling much happier.