Genius, the National Geographic series available this Friday on Disney +, pays tribute to great geniuses of our time. Season 3 tells us the story of singer Aretha Franklin.
What is it about ?
Focus on the musical genius and incomparable career of Aretha Franklin, as well as her immeasurable impact and lasting influence on music and culture across the world. Aretha Franklin was a gospel prodigy and a great advocate for civil rights. She is considered one of the greatest singers of the past 50 years, and has received countless awards throughout her career.
Genius: Aretha, created by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Kenneth Biller, with Cynthia Erivo, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington. Episodes viewed: 1/8
Who is it with?
After having stepped on the boards of Broadway, Cynthia Erivo comes to show us the full extent of her talent in cinema (Harriet, Bad times at the El Royale hotel) and on television. She notably gives the answer to the energetic Courtney B. Vance in the role of CL Franklin (New York Criminal Section), to Malcolm Barrett (Timeless, The Boys) and to David Cross (Arrested Development), in a role against the job. .
Well worth a look ?
After Einstein in season 1 and Picasso in season 2, the National Geographic Genius series looks at another genius of our generation. Spotlight this time on the great American singer who died in 2018, Aretha Franklin.
The series highlights her career, through an artistic prism: we see her most often in the studio or behind a microphone, composing her songs, looking for her style, adapting to her time. As such, we must underline the impeccable performance of Cynthia Erivo, African-American singer who made her film debut in 2018. Her voice is on par with Aretha Franklin’s and her playing is worth a look.
Genius Aretha paints the portrait of an artist in full emancipation, with his own desire for independence. The series does not hesitate to scratch the image of the singer and to show the hardest aspects of her life: her two pregnancies at 12 and 13 years old, the domestic violence she suffered, the peregrinations. of her father, a womanizer priest, or even this time when she betrayed her sister by stealing a golden opportunity.
Flashbacks, shot in black and white and told randomly, allow the character to be constructed. It is the young Shaian Jordan who also lends her features to Little Re and her voice may capsize you.
The series sweeps over 50 years of her life in 8 episodes: and if certain aspects are skipped over, she never forgets to pay tribute to the creative talent of Aretha Franklin – even if it is not only about music but also of his political commitments through his relationship with Martin Luther King.
If this biopic is successful in substance and in form – thanks to a quality distribution – it remains nonetheless classic. We watch it to learn more about Aretha Franklin and to listen to some of her songs.
But don’t expect to hear his classics including “Respect” and “Natural Woman”, the production not having had the rights to them. We will have to wait for the feature film dedicated to him, with Jennifer Hudson, scheduled for this summer at the cinema.