Film Review – John Farnham: Finding The Voice

John Farnham: Finding The Voice (M)

Director: Poppy Stockell

Starring: Jimmy Barnes, Daryl Braithwaite

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Documentary filmmaker Poppy Stockell tracks the illustrious career of Australian singer John Farnham, from his teen heart-throb days to icon and legend.

Speaking to his closest family, friends, colleagues and peers, Stockell paints a vivid picture of Farnham’s career highs and lows.

Valuable archive footage shows us the Beatles-like mania he caused with his debut hit Sadie The Cleaning Lady, a fluffy piece of pop that had teens frothing but gained him little industry respect.

From there he struggled to be taken seriously, briefly dabbling as the replacement lead singer in a rock band, before going solo once again and trying to find his voice, before creating the monster hit and culture defining album Whispering Jack.

While this documentary is a one-sided and favourable look at the singer’s career and characteristics, from the perspective of those closest to him, it is a career that is nevertheless fascinating.

If you are a Farnham aficionado hoping for long buried skeletons to come tumbling out of the closet, you will not get what you came for.

Regardless, it is hard not to be moved by Farnham’s generosity and tenacity, and to have a newfound respect for such an immensely talented man.

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