Last night I sat through much of Madonna's new documentary, "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret." It didn't take long to figure out why this film was rejected by Cannes and no distributor would touch it. It is truly an embarrassment. It was so bad that in order to get over my blushing hangover, I actually had to listen to Madonna's wonderful first couple of albums this morning to remind me why I ever even liked the Belle of Bay City.
Before you start getting all bent out of shape on me, just remember this: I adore Madonna. I always have. I eat it all up. The albums, the videos, the "Sex" book, the bad movies. All of it. But this Kabbalah-inspired, British-accented, re-invented daughter of a rabbi man routine is just beyond belief. The "fame bubble" has swallowed our girl alive, completely blinding her from seeing how ridiculous she's become. I'd always assumed that Madonna must be incredibly intelligent to have gotten this far, but this documentary really showcases how sophomoric she truly is. She spends half the film bragging about how much her ego has shrunk since she discovered Kabbalah and the other half writing junior-high poetry. And the more she talks about how much nicer she is now and how much she has grown up, the more narcissistic and shallow she comes across.
What I find most perplexing about Madonna is that given all the hype that surrounds her, you would think that Madonna the personality would be far more intriguing than Madonna the singer. Oddly, the Madonna saga is quite the opposite. Re-listening to "Physical Attraction," "Everybody" and "Burning Up" over breakfast had my boyfriend and me in a tizzy all over again. This woman knows how to write and sing a great pop song — and that's not an easy thing to do. All of her albums have been at least interesting and usually quite entertaining. Even now, I can't wait to run out and buy "Confessions on a Dance Floor."
But if "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret" was supposed to fill us in on what it's like to be Madonna in 2005, as she says it is, then I can only say this: If Mrs. Ritchie needed to join a quasi-cult at middle-age to figure out that she should treat her fellow man with dignity and respect, then this is an ugly secret that I wish she hadn't told me.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 12:53 AM