The title of this documentary stems from the quote “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” In this film, said “love” refers to the love and support Paul McCartney, and other major celebrities, give to New York in the immediate wake of 9/11. Starting from early rehearsals and finishing with McCartney’s closing performance at the “Concert for New York” benefit, we watch one of the most famous people on the planet demonstrate his uncanny sense of humility and humanity as he proves he is a “man of the people.”
The camera is mostly candid as we witness McCartney not be able to walk a single foot on the streets of New York without getting endlessly mobbed by fans. It is refreshing to see that, whether surrounded by starry-eyed civilians or fellow celebrities, McCartney never loses his playful mien.
McCarney was about to take flight in New York when the tragic events of 9/11 occurred. This, plus his natural sense of sympathy, made McCartney feel a particular connection to New York at this time. It was this feeling that inspired his urge to aid in the best way he could, which was to perform his music.
McCartney still has enough fanatics out there that will be glued to his every action, but everyone else might get bored with the small talk that takes over the film as more and more celebrity encounters and boring TV interviews emerge, as apposed to the far more interesting rehearsals with his band or McCartney musing about New York and the effects of 9/11.
Fullscreen 4:3. Only footage borrowed from TV interviews and the New York concert are in colour, the rest is black and white. All of the footage is extremely grainy. One might try to defend that the footage was filmed hastily because nothing was staged (though some shots clearly are) but so much could have been done to make this a pretty looking film. New York city is supposed to be honoured but the black and white visuals are nowhere near as clean as they could and should be, especially for a Blu ray release.
LPCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital 5.1 are all options. The dialogue is mostly clear and the musical portions sound decent. The sound obviously got a much more careful treatment than the Video. With all of the footage being borrowed from TV sources or captured on-the-go, things can get a little bit muffled from time to time.
Subtitles available in English, German, Spanish, & French.
If you’re interested in this film, there seems to be no real advantage to purchasing the Blu Ray over the DVD. As touched on before, fans will adore this but most will see this as a puffed up Special Feature to a stronger documentary that doesn’t exist. McCartney’s perspective is appreciated but ultimately undermined by a lot of stars schmoozing.