Directed by Don Cheadle
We have to recognize the efforts of Don Cheadle, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in “Miles Ahead”, a biographical drama based on the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
He plays Miles with an impeccable rough voice and stylish posture, but the drama presents lots of questionable scenes in which its accuracy becomes compromised.
The post-“Kind of Blues” story starts when Miles decides not to play or record during a five-year interruption in his career. Instead of concentrate in his brilliant music, he was more concerned in hiding from the world, consuming drugs, and regretting for having let go his wife, Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi), a dancer who didn’t resist to the whims and bad genius of the musician.
Disappointment is installed as I realized this wasn’t about Miles’ music or even about his true life. To tell the truth, it seemed that Mr. Cheadle took the opportunity to make a gangster movie out of a phase of Miles’ life.
Ewan McGregor plays Dave Braden, a fictional and somewhat dishonest reporter who persistently wants to write the truth about Miles. The best way Braden finds to achieve this, is hanging out with Miles himself while helping him sorting out some disagreements with his record label, Columbia, and with an unscrupulous producer, Harper Hamilton (Michael Stuhlbarg), who steals a tape containing supposedly unrecorded material.
The story winds back in a considerable number of times with faint purpose, showing how the trumpeter got to know Frances, the posterior difficulties in their relationship, and when Miles was unfairly busted at the door of the NY jazz venue Village Vanguard where he was performing with his fantastic quintet.
“Miles Ahead” is not so ahead as a film, but rather a bit showy and copiously staged. The occasional humor provided, ended up being the strongest aspect of a muddled drama that certainly would leave the temperamental Miles upset. As an iconic voice of jazz, fusion, and social music, he appears here more like… a kind of gangster.