The Other Fellow is a must-watch not just for James Bond fans, but for any man with an interest in male identity in 2023.
The Other Fellow is set to be an essential watch for every man in 2023. It isn’t, as you might think, being dubbed a ‘James Bond’ documentary, a documentary about 007, Daniel Craig or one of the other Bonds from a bygone era. It’s a documentary about what it’s like to share the name with the franchise’s lead character. In other words: it’s a documentary about what it’s like to be called James Bond, without being the James Bond.
It’s a quirky concept, but one that has gone down well with critics who have seen advanced showings. The documentary’s info page describes itself as “An energetic exploration of male identity via the lives, personalities and adventures of a diverse band of real men across the globe who all share the same name: James Bond.”
Peter Gray from the Au Review said of The Other Fellow (via Rotten Tomatoes): “Funny and poignant, [Matthew] Bauer’s lens feels welcomingly progressive and, most importantly, laced in a relatability and humanity that isn’t always afforded by the character’s incarnation.”
James Croot from Stuff.co.nz likewise said: “A fascinating look at the trials, tribulations and potential opportunities of unexpected and unwanted fame in the age of social media.”
In terms of the plot, the documentary is about an exploration of the lives of a bunch of men from around the world called James Bond. There’s a Swedish James Bond super fan with a World War two past, a gay New York theatre director and an African American man accused of murder.
The Spotlight Report writes of The Other Fellow’s main characters: “Their stories are a mix of sad pasts, career and social frustration and the occasional happy embrace of the moniker.”
“You’d probably think it’s thin gruel for an entire feature-length documentary, but through the use of well staged reenactments and genuinely interesting content, Bauer actually leaves you wanting more.”The Spotlight Report
Rat World, in its review, wrote: “This is a documentary about hyper-masculinity, identity and the strange phenomenon of cultural icons.”
“Bauer has done a terrific job of creating connections and links between, what could have been, several disparate interviews. I was actually a little worried about reviewing this film because, admittedly, I am not a James Bond fan. But, this is not a James Bond documentary.”Jennifer Cheuk, Rat World
All up, The Other Fellow is ambitious, heart-string pulling and revelatory. Thanks to the sharp eye of Australian director Matthew Bauer, the documentary rakes over the coals (in a loving and insightful way) what it means to be a man living in the shadow of the name of a cinematic icon, and lets the audience come to their own conclusions. The Other Fellow will be released on February 17th, 2023. You will be able to watch it on SBS On Demand.