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This paper gives an in-depth analysis of the theme of hyperbole in Oliver Stone’s The Door, a film he personally directed and produced in 1991. The film was presenting on the life of the members of The Door Band. This band was formed by a celebrated American vocalist Jim Morrison together with a keyboardist Ray Manzareck, drummer John Desmonere and a guitarist called Robby Krieger. Actually, the eight times gold LPs winner was a very controversial band mainly because of Morrison’s charismatic, poetic lyrics along side his unpredictable stage persona. In this film, Oliver exposes the life of Morrison and other band members. However this is highly criticized for being done in an exaggerated manner just to tarnish the name of this pioneer American psychedelic and hard rock band (Riordan, J., 2006).
Just like the synonymous The Door Band, The Door film is really controversial. Even if it has been credited for giving some truth about the crew members of the Jim Morrison’s led band, Oliver Stone has received a lot of criticisms because of the way in which it portrayed Jim Morrison and his colleagues. In fact, many people assert that his story was not based on the real band members, but on a mystical one. Some of the exaggerated claims about these people are explained herein:
First, Jim is portrayed as a larger than life icon of his time. His drug using, rock and roll lifestyle is quite abnormal. His drug addiction makes him behaves so queerly. He deviates from standards most of the times, a conduct that infuriates his band members and funs. For instance, when playing at Whisky Go Go Bar, his improvised lyrics and onstage antics infuriate the owners of this club. Similarly, while at the bar, he orders the bar attendant to serve him with Des Equis. He was doing this even if he knew that this was an illegal drug that was not supposed to be imported in USA until its ban was lifted in 1973.
At the same time, he turns into promiscuity particularly when he starts engaging in sexual intercourse with a lot of women. For example, his mystical sexual encounter with Patricia Kennealy, a very funny rock journalist who was accused of practicing witchcraft is also blamed on his alcoholism.
Besides, Morrison loses interest in his work as a band leader and a leading vocalist who was in charge of his crew. He does not show any commitment in his duties. In fact, he starts from being late before graduating to deliberate missing of recording sessions and concerts. Even after doing this, he did not bother to apologize and give explanations on his whereabouts (Riordan, J. & Prochnicky, J., 2001). One day, he decided to come late during a live concert at Miami, Florida. Surprisingly, he goes ahead to expose himself onstage and confront his colleagues. They never took this conduct lightly. It was an embarrassment to all in attendance. In fact, it landed him in problems when he was arrested and charged in the court of law for indecent exposure.
In addition, Oliver reports that Morrison was compelled to act under influence of drugs to torture Courson. Oliver says that most of his ideas were muddled through the haze of alcoholism. This was witnessed when he locked her in the closet and set fire on her and defied his audience’s to change for them the lyrics. Instead of listening to them, he opts to shout at them, a tendency he continued doing even in the recording room. However, this was just a mere hyperbole because this did not actually happen. It was one of the many instances in which Stone decided to twist a story in order to suit his cinematographic goals. Even if Jim shouted at his funs, he never did the same when recording his trucks.
Similarly, Oliver’s assertion regarding Jim’s childhood experiences is exaggerated. Despite the fact that the film was produced at a time when The Door was releasing n American Prayer, his reflections on his possessions with death are quite perplexing. It makes him lure his colleagues to go to Death Valley just to experience the consequences of psychedelic drugs. However, this is not a real representation of his personality because many critics, who observed him, claim that they are mere exaggerations meant to conform to Oliver’s cinematographic goals (Manzarek, R., 2000).
Moreover, Morrison is reported to have had hostile relationships with Kennealy. As Oliver puts it, their interactions were always hostile because they would not have any peaceful dialogue. However, this was not true presentation of this friendship because many people who were there during that time said that Morison and Kennealy were known to be great friends. Unlike Oliver’s assertions, they always related cordially and had harmonious dialogues throughout. They never exchanged bitterly as claimed by Oliver.
A part from Jim, Oliver thrills readers with amusing claims about other members of this band. This was also done in a way that was contradicting truth because it is one of the proofs of the exaggerations he had made in this film. To begin with, he claims that Desmore hated Jim for his drunken conducts. However, the critics insist that this is not true because the two guys are known to have been great friends. This is not real since they never confronted one another. Their friendship began before Jim became an addict. Then it continued even after becoming obsessed with drugs. It was toleration from Densmore that enabled their friendship to continue existing even after that kind of change in Jim’s lifestyle.
Consequently, Patricia is portrayed by Oliver to have been a liar. This was evidenced when she is reported to have said that Jim pursued his university education at the University of Florida while the truth is that he did the same at the Florida State University. This statement as exaggerated because those present during this time never attributed her with deception. She was a straight forward lady who should not be tainted with such a trait.
The other exaggeration was made concerning the behavior of Morrison’s audience. While Oliver reports that they were nude during certain concerts is criticized for being inappropriate. Those who witnessed these concerts refute this claim as misleading and instead insist that nudity was not practiced by any of these funs. After all, it could not be tolerated in the American society. This is not justified because it gives misleading information about these crowds (Densmore, J., 2009).
In conclusion, I would like to agree with the fact that even if there are some elements of truth in Oliver’s, The Door, a lot of his claims were exaggerated. In fact, Hollywood is accused of making silly claims that injured the reputation of the America’s pioneer rock band. Such claims like Morrison being an out of control sociopath carrying alcohol bottle all the time was exaggeration technique.