Ive decided to do my first review on Banksy's Exit through The Gift Shop in honour of it being awarded an Oscar nomination. In all honesty, I had never even heard of Banksy before watching this documentary and jumped onto google right after i finished the film. He has an extraordinary history. Basically he is a famous graffiti artist from the UK who has never been seen(bar close associates), is extremely elusive nor does anyone supposedly know his true identity however, he leaves his mark all over the place. Apparently, should you wake one morning and discover you (or your establishment) has been visited by him during the dead of night, the value of your property could fly through the roof as his work seems quite valuable besides the fact, his art really REALLY is a work of genius (and I'm no arty farty).
|One of Banksy's Murals|
Exit through the Gift shop (despite the movie poster initially giving me no clues as to the content of the story) is a thoroughly enjoyable and riveting story, even if you are not into art. The film is actually about a french amateur film maker, Thierry Guetta who documents the graffiti artists around his city and then decides to track down Banksy who is a legend in his field. Banksy in turn lands up supporting Thierry when he tries his hand at art and turns the camera on Thierry.
It was hard for me to decide if Thierry aka Mr Brainwash (hmmmmm....) was genuinely naive or in on the joke as some of his art is totally outrageous but thanks to a massive campaign lead by top graffiti artists..Mr Brainwash seemed to have found success. This ads to the mystery around the film as to was Mr Brainwash created for the amusement of Banksy and co, or did they really believe he had some talent?? Can anyone just become an artist?? You can be the judge! Even though I was covering my eyes in embarrassment for Thierry in some parts, he is a genuinely likable character and I REALLY wanted him to succeed.Its also an awesome look into the lives of these nocturnal creatures that create art while we all sleep. Besides some truly hilarious LOL moments in the film, its was an eye opener in what people are willing to believe in the name of hot trends, pop culture and celebrities.
This one definitely deserves its Oscar nod and is a remarkable, funny and fascinating doccie. If you hadn't heard of Banksy and his friends before now, you will spend hours after watching the film, trawling the net for info...
PS: Ive tried hard not to add any spoilers as with any doc, the less you know beforehand, the greater the impact when you watch it but if you do watch this one, would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.