Miles Ahead

Posted on Mar 19, 2016

I caught the new film by actor/writer/producer/director Don Cheadle about the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis called “Miles Ahead”.  Cheadle is sensational as Miles Davis.  He has the rasp, look, language, attitude and reveals the complexity of the man down to a tee.  Miles Ahead is not what you expect in a film about Miles Davis. It is not a bio pic, it’s a film that instead captures a specific period of time from 1975 to 1980 when Davis withdrew from the public eye.  Miles was fighting his demons as he was suffering from a deteriorating hip, indulging in drugs and booze, trying to recapture his musical passion but is caught up in the past haunted by his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer Frances Taylor (a stunning Emayatzy Corinealdi).  The fictional story line has Miles being pursued by Evan McGregor who portrays Dave Braden, an aggressive Rolling Stone reporter who is after the big story about Miles withdrawal from the music business.

The story turns into a wild, buddy type of adventure where both characters are trying to retrieve a stolen tape of Miles’ latest music from sinister underworld music industry types.  I won’t disclose more so I don’t spoil the film for you.  There are scenes that hit real such as Miles helping a budding, heroin fueled trumpet prodigy create a song that demonstrates Davis’ genius as a creative force.  Other scenes that focuses on Davis relationship with Frances are sensuous, touching and explosive.  This entertaining film has a lot going for it but parts of the film are uneven especially when it goes into Hollywood action genre territory. However, I applaud Cheadle’s ambition and determination in getting his vision of Miles Davis created for the screen…he is an exceptional talent.  Miles Ahead is definitely worth checking out whether you’re a music buff or not.  I just hope that this won’t be the last film about this music icon and genius.