Red Obsession

By: Addison WylieRedObsession poster

It’s neat to watch a subject take on an evolution people didn’t see coming.  In Red Obsession’s case, that subject is wine – and it’s progression isn’t pleasing everybody.

Documentary filmmakers David Roach and Warwick Ross capture a timeline that shows how wine went from something that was considered an art, to a product that is more of a business decision than anything.

The price of wine keeps on climbing to a point where it’s becoming unaffordable in certain markets.  Namely the US and the UK.  However, China has been wanting to embrace Western civilized aspects and has gradually become more savvy with wine.

The high costs don’t serve as a problem as very wealthy people bid on and buy bottles for astronomical prices.  The effect overseas causes the cost to rise even more, taking the ever so extreme worries from North American and European countries with it.

The subject of wine has always been labeled with a snobby stamp.  As one of the subjects in the documentary states, it’s a terribly hard field to dive into and pick up on.  Roach and Warwick, however, have found a way to deliver interviews in a way that puts the average movie goer on the same level with someone who’s an avid collector.

The one-on-ones with vineyard owners and dedicated collectors speak a language that lets us in.  We understand why there’s an everlasting passion and how each bottle serves as a host to represent different periods and skills that have been worked into this classy beverage.  On top of these interesting and informative answers is the highly attractive cinematography.  It adds another alluring layer of sophistication.

The wine critics, on the other hand, are a bit harder to take in.  The interviewees don’t fault the documentary or the information Roach and Warwick have to offer, but the stuffy pretension in their answers runs deeper than any red wine stain.

Since we are listening to experts recall past events leading up to the present, Red Obsession holds its audience at the same distance a regular hour-long recapping doc would (think VH1’s Behind the Bordeaux).  In which case, audiences won’t get to feel that power of “being in the moment” other documentaries such as Charles Bradley: Soul of America or Skull World provided earlier this year.

However, for a film that tackles such a posh niche, asks its audience to care about rich people and raising wine retail, while speaking an easily digestible and relatable lingo and ends up winning us over is an achievement in itself.  Red Obsession warrants a watch.

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