Inspired by Apple’s groundbreaking “Dear Apple” spots, “Dear…” takes an inventive and cinematic approach to biographies of the most iconic figures in society today by using letters written by those whose lives have been changed through their work.
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Platform: Apple TV+
Movie Rated: 13+
Digital Premiere Date: 5 June 2020
What is it all about?
This 10-episode Docu-series is a walk into the lives of eminent personalities, who turned the global spotlights upon them not just for their remarkable feat of achievements in their respective areas, but influenced innumerable many people in a positive way. Each episode with a running length of 30 minutes depicts a quick run into the biographical delineation of these icons followed by the persons writing letters to them on how they were found solace and inspiration in their lives through their works. This includes the world’s most celebrated Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Steve Wonder, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Aly Raisman, Misty Copeland, and others.
At certain times, we find a piece of work finding a plethora of red carpets not just for its content, but for the time of release. This 10-episode Docu-series that has each episode winding up in 30 minutes has lots of moments that moisten the eyes and smile indeed. One of the major reasons why it could enjoy an instant attraction is the time of its release. With zillions remaining confined within walls due to the ongoing pandemic issues, with several finding the positivity and happiness wiped out in their personal and professional space, ‘Dear’ manages to impart a ray of hope and positive vibes. You’ll witness it right with the first episode featuring Spike Lee, the creator of several top-notch masterpieces like Malcolm X. The letters written to him bind us emotionally to how they coped up with harshest moments in their lives and gradually overshadowed them with their relentless effort. One of the citations from these letters read “I use your films to connect with. I want to leave a legacy of hope and empowerment as I work to turn my community into a safer and better place for everyone.” There are more emotions to be embraced when Spike Lee reveals that being imprisoned for years and getting released with just a $10 note and a ticket back home, but nothing could impoverish his hopes due to a strong family bonding. Similarly, the second episode with Lin-Manuel Miranda is a compellingly amazing one. From rising to the realms of greatest popularity and creating the magnificent work on Alexander Hamilton, it really keeps us engrossed. Among all the letters written, the emotions look more embellished with a little girl revealing how his musical work helped her fight cancer with joy and hope. The words – “I felt painless after listening to your music and cancer didn’t look like a burden.” Similarly, the 3rd episode featuring the most acclaimed Steve Wonder, the man who influenced the world through his music despite being visually impaired. A man’s word praising him from deep down the heart saying, “I found no answer in school or church, but in your song.”
The greatest cherry-pick among all is obviously the ‘OPRAH WINFREY’, whose life has been a marvelous inspiration. Her episodes involve more emotions and some of the footage from her shows hit us severely is the victims, especially few women open up on the harassment they faced.
Having stated the pros, the same stereotypical pattern after a few episodes exposes us to boredom. Moreover, the earnest question starts popping up don’t these legends deserve at least a 1-hour or 90-minute documentary for their remarkable journeys.
Performance and direction
With ‘Dear’ categorized under the genre of ‘Documentary’, you’ve nothing much to delve into the performances. As with the directorial part, the way, certain instances of persons reading out their letters are pictures needs special mention. Or else, there’s nothing really unique to make a mark on these aspects.
Apple TV+ ritually sticks to the pinnacle of brilliant technical traits and despite ‘Dear’ is a documentary, which mostly comprises of old footage, it endows its viewers with a decent watch for best visuals. What turns to be a major emblazoning is the editing and background score.
As abovementioned, the show owns radically distinctive traits to inspire the viewers. Especially, if you’re someone, who is an aspiring artist, actor, writer, or whatever profession involved, it sends forth a beam of values that one can influence many lives through their works.
With these prominent legends having contributed a lot towards the world with strong inspirations, the 30-minute episodes look like a crash course into a biographical study of them. Even if the Apple TV+ had made 10 stories into a separate episode, each with a 2-hr duration, it would have been more impactful.
Did I enjoy it?
Of course, but to a limited extent
Do I recommend it?