Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The World V Bobby Fischer

Insert line here about fine lines, genius and insanity. On the genius side, we have Bobby Fischer, chess player. On the insanity side, we get Bobby Fischer, conspiratorial finder supreme.

The document starts off being about BF and his brilliant chess skills. Then they cover the games with Spassky, and devote a fair bit of time to that. And then, afterwards, the movie shows off the decline of Fischer with a little more glee than the previous parts of the movie, finally some juicy human disaster to get into!

(Interestingly, considering that this is a documentary about a ... sport? ...hobby? baordgame? they don't spend any time explaining how it is played. Every other documentary has a segment on 'here's how this bit is played', but not this one. Either chess is that ubiquitous, or the only people likely to watch this are already chess aficionados and don't need to be told.)

In fact, in many ways, this movie does expect a level of knowledge about Bobby Fischer as well. We don't get a heartwarming story about his early child life (except as it pertains to him liking to play chess), nor are we told about who Spassky is, other than 'the Russian champion'. And the afterwards section jumps around like we already know the gaps that need to be filled in. I get that he is a 'name', but I can't say I know a lot more about him now than before I started watching.

Overall, a moderately decent documentary that assumes some knowledge.


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