Long Live Montero Film Review

'Long Live Montero'
Joshua (he/him) is from Boorloo, Western Australia. Outside writing for scenestr and FROOTY, he is an active member of the arts and cultural industries, specialising in Film and Theatre management.

‘Long Live Montero’ follows Lil Nas X over a period of 60 days as he embarks on his first ever tour, from rehearsals to his final show.

Following the breakout success of the genre-blending ‘Old Town Road’, trailblazing rapper, singer, and songwriter – Lil Nas X – incited a global firestorm through his unabashed depictions of Black, queer sexuality.

The film is an ambitious mix of music, theatrical performance and storytelling, dance, and deeply autobiographical telling of the young artist as he is tested both physically and emotionally.

“People feel a lot of things about me, but boy, do I love this kid,” muses Montero, a quote from the movie that permeates as a golden thread throughout the production.

An intimate memoir into the life of a growing artistic sensation, expressing the human condition that connects us all – the lows and highs of life, and building a community that brings joy. Interesting edits incorporate rehearsals into immediate performances, intercut with behind-the-scenes interviews, commentaries, and archival footage, highlighting the journey Lil Nas X has experienced in a short amount of time.

The documentary follows an interesting dichotomy most LGBTQIA+ individuals have, being the ‘palatable gay’. The balance with being yourself, but not too much; representing and advocating for the community, but to not be too loud. ‘Long Live Montero’ holds a theme of being loud, and proud, if that is what bubbles beneath the surface. The world is not comfortable to be in, so to find your comfort is the ultimate goal.

‘Long Live Montero’ is a diaristic look at an artist navigating identity, expectations and acceptance with his chosen family of dancers, friends, and team members, inspiring a new generation of music lovers, queer folks, and kids everywhere to love and accept themselves.

The production is an intimate peek behind the curtain of a relatively immediate rise to fame, while also dealing with a sense of imposter syndrome that all viewers will be able to relate to. The story of Montero is one we all have inside us, making ‘Long Live Montero’ an engaging documentary, and music performance – another notch in Lil Nas X’s belt of success.

This story originally appeared on our queer sister site, FROOTY.

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