Where You’re Meant to Be isn’t without good music, interesting history, and touching moments, but I still feel like director Paul Fegan misses the mark.
Musician Aidan Moffat is eager to learn more about his Scottish heritage upon growing an attachment for the country’s classic folk music. He tours Scotland with a small band playing similar songs with modern lyrics. He divides audiences with his take on these tunes, but Moffat also meets people who have as much of an appreciation for the cultural history as he does; including Sheila Stewart, a wise and opinionated singer who has experience with the genre and a budding relationship with Moffat.
The documentary sounds sweet enough, and it is. Where You’re Meant to Be isn’t a film that rattles its naysayers per se. However, I do take umbrage with how the film isn’t really about Scottish heritage – it’s more about Aidan Moffat. Moffat is a natural performer, so I understand if it’s hard for him to turn himself “off”. However, filmmaker Fegan indulges the musician by asking him to constantly mug on camera and to narrate dramatically. Moffat’s interest seems genuine, but his constant presence annoyed me as I was trying to sift through this prolonged doc for content.
This film was the total opposite of Murphy’s Law, a sleeper hit in Northern Ontario featuring radio personality Megan Murphy biking across a foreign country to understand her deceased father better. In the end, she gained that deeper connection she was seeking, but she learned more about the Irish culture around her. Murphy’s Law, a movie about someone that turned into a film about something, was a grand success. Where You’re Meant to Be, a movie about something that turned into a film about someone, is not.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie