Netflix continues to reign in with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to their exclusive programming, their latest is Andy and Jim: The Great Beyond which is an incredibly candid and raw retrospective interview with Jim Carrey discussing work on Man on the Moon where he played his hero Andy Kaufman.
The film cuts in an abundance of never before seen behind the scenes footage of the shoot, where Carrey stayed in character as either Kaufman or Tony Clifton (who is also credited as an execute producer on Andy and Jim), where Carrey drives everyone absolutely crazy, including the film’s director Milos Foreman, and getting into physical altercations with Jerry Lawler.
The film examines Carrey as a performer, his deep-rooted love for Andy Kaufman who had been his comedic inspiration. Yet, Carrey’s incarnation of Kaufman changed Carrey not only as a performer but as a person. The documentary conveys the deeply philosophical side of Carrey, who as of late, has become an abstract persona which is reflected from his most recent interviews.
The film is refreshing, as Carrey has an open mic and unloads his stream of consciousness into the camera, speaking about his origins, his fears, and even regrets that he has, not only pertaining to his behavior regarding the filming of Man on the Moon but also aspects of his career. Carrey, who leaves his zany antics and exaggerated comedic shtick at the door, comes across incredibly sincere and vulnerable, exposing a very brilliant and tortured soul.
The film is brisk, doesn’t drag anything out as Carrey guides the film with his commentary; both cohesively and at times perhaps even a bit incoherent. Carrey doesn’t censor himself, he tells it like how it was for him, both the good, the bad, and the ugly. This film is terrific and showcases what a supreme talent Carrey actually is, and the talent that he still aspires to be.
Review by Frank Mengarelli