Last month, HBO really decided that the month of April would be about documentaries, so at the end of March, they played Judd Apatlow’s two part film about Garry Shandling, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t remember him or any of his work, but I did think it was a very educational and funny film dedicated to this comic legend. After that, they aired another one that I had my eye on for a while and we’re going to talk about it on this post: Andre The Giant. And finally the last documentary was about Elvis Presley, I did try to watch it but I didn’t really like the format of the people were interviewed, so I never finished it.
I’ve always heard about Andre The Giant, through my dad. While I sat in my room, trying to watch the film, I told him about it and he said to me that he saw or met him while in Louisville. Yes, I believed him. My dad at a younger age probably liked wrestling, I mean, he still likes to arm wrestle! The only thing I know about him that I didn’t get from my dad was the fact that he was the inspiration for Shrek.
When I started watching it, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into. I just thought it would be a regular documentary about a fairly large legend of the wrestling world. Honestly, I was right on a certain level, but there were parts in it that I absolutely hated about it.
As somebody who doesn’t know really anything about Andre Roussimoff, as a person, I thought we’d get to know more about him and more of his condition: acronmegaly. They interviewed his family and they did talk about how he was as a young lad, even showed us a handmade wooden chair that his mother had made for him, but they didn’t really explain more about this condition, they just showed us the affects of it. I wish his family were a little bit more open about how Andre himself felt about this when he was younger. They just rushed into the wrestling.
In the beginning of every film, they gave the different production companies that helped get it out to people. One of these companies was in fact WWE. At first, I thought this was a nice gesture because he did a lot to make wrestling a lot more interesting. Although, I felt being called “the eighth wonder of the world” is a little mean; it gave me a sense to the circus people with their disabilities on display, and it made me sad, but I also had to keep an open mind at the same time, because sometimes people will do anything to get work. Some people strip, others will do bodily harm.
Anyways, back to what I saying before. I really thought WWE’s big boss Vince McMahon Jr. basically called the shots for this documentary because for some odd reason, we stopped talking about Andre’s life in the middle to discuss about the rising of Hulk Hogan’s career. Yes, I realize there’s a part of it that needs to be talked about because he and Andre hashed it out before Andre retired from the sport itself, but there was a large amount of information about the start of how wrestling in general became a big thing to cable TV that took over the documentary, and a part of me was really mad about this, because first I thought people were treating him like a freak of nature and now I really got the sense that they were using his name to showcase the WWE name.
Overall, the film was pretty good. It gave me a better sense of this gentle giant. I did feel bad for him later on in life because of his sheer size and amount of fights he’d do in the wrestling world, that people would stare at him in joy, horror, and pity. It was a very enlightening documentary to watch as somebody who doesn’t really like MMA, which considering my story I’m writing, does contain a bit of it.
Did you watch Andre The Giant yet? What did you think about it? What were some of your thoughts?