Review: The Accidental Rockstar

The Accidental Rockstar is more so a love-letter to the norwegian alternative rock band, Kaizers Orchestra, than a in-depth documentary. It takes us into the mind of Helge Risa, as the gas mask clad pump organist shows us a different perspective of the band.

Through his eyes, we are taken on a highly-styalized journey, based on the lyrical universe the band has created throughout the years. It’s post-war traumatisation, in all its bleak optimism, and surprisingly deep-rooted story about a family gone awry. Helge walks through all of this meeting characters like Violetta, and Mr. Kaizer himself, all the while intercut with talking heads and clips from tours and concerts.

The focus is on Helge. Who is the man behind the mask – the embodied icon of everything Kaizers Orchestra represents? The movie shows us how his strong belief system has shaped both his career and his personality within a band so focus on darkness, more than once talking directly to or about the devil himself. Somewhat distant form the classic rock & roll lifestyle the rest of the gang has lived, Helge classifies himself as an outsider, and it’s with this the movie really shines. Through comments from his band mates, and himself, it becomes clear they all care immensely for one another. Spending weeks, sometimes months, on tour together. Having fun. Making music. Partying together. Even so… Helge isn’t sure whether or not to call them his friends. It’s a fascinating look at a band most every norwegian – and many-a international audience, will have a relationship top, one way or another, and it’s both beautiful, nostalgic and bitter-sweet.

It struggles with production value, at times to a shocking extent, but I don’t think that diminishes the value of the movie as a whole. It becomes difficult to recommend to people who’s never heard of or listened to Kaizers music before, but for fans, it is a must-watch.

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