Completely Original: Weird: The Al Yankovic Review

Illustration+by+Savannah+Owens

Illustration by Savannah Owens

Leslie Lozada, Campus Life Editor

Weird Al will change the world!

 

You think you know Weird Al Yankovic, the man who made several song parodies from well known songs, and the occasional polka song. Did you know that Weird Al was in a relationship with Madonna, had one of his original songs parodied by Michael Jackson, and almost ended up in Live Aid with Queen?

 

Thing is, that didn’t happen.

 

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is a musical biopic parody that is just as absurd as the man who is the focus of the film. For those that don’t know, Yankovic is an acclaimed parody writer, singer, actor and accordion player who has been working since the late 1970s. He is still relevant to this day, with several albums, films and tv shows under his belt.

 

I’m sorry to disturb you, ma’am,

 

but I’m afraid we found your son at a polka party.

 

He was playing an accordion.

 

Throughout the film, it’s clear that while there are several things that have happened in Yankovic’s life that are covered in the film, there is a lot of exaggeration for comedic effect. The film starts in Yankovic’s childhood, with his father having a hatred of accordions and polka music to the point that even going to a teenage polka party sets the man off. His childhood frames the early scenes and an emotional character arc for Yankovic, with his father’s words of “working at the factory” mentally torturing him as Yankovic becomes more famous.

 

Do not be mistaken: there are grains of truth in the film, such as the phenomenon called the “Yankovic bump”, that involved several artists getting more fame and sales due to Yankovic’s parody songs.  But the film tailors Yankvioc’s life to depict several dramatic musical biopic tropes: such as having a troubled relationship with a parent, most often the father, getting a mentor during the start of their career, having a partner that causes tension within the band, and so on.

 

Daniel Radcliff portrays Yankovic for the majority of the film. In line with the roles he has taken since the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, he brings his all into his role: as it veers into emotional territory with scenes involving his father, as played by Toby Huss, comedic humor with several celebrities he encounters, such as an interview with Oprah as played by Abbott Elementary’s Quinta Brunson, showing off his platinum records, and even showing off his fighting skills later on in the film. There are several celeb cameos throughout the film, including Jack Black as Wolfman Jack. Yankovic himself plays a role that is reminiscent of Mike Myers’ completely fictional role in Bohemian Rhapsody, which portrayed the rise of Queen, a british band.

  • If you wanna have a great time, check out the film on Roku. Knowing some things about Yankovic would enhance the weirdness of it all, but if you don’t, it’s probably much better.