‘Zappa’ Summary & Review – The Modern Mozart Amidst The Cosmic Debris

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Zappa is an in-depth look into the life of a musical genius, Frank Zappa. There have been numerous rockstars that have graced the world but some of them transcend into a paradigm of being a legend and Frank Zappa is one of them. People who are not avid fans of the musical prowess of Zappa can be differentiated from the ones who adore him with no effort because the fanbase of Zappa is extremely black and white, you either like him or don’t, there is no casual space in between the two.


Who was Frank Zappa?

Frank Vincent Zappa, born on the 21st of December 1940 was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader whose professional boasts 30 years of musical genius. Zappa produced more than 60 studio albums with his band Mother of Inventions and in his solo outings and meddled effortlessly with genres like rock, jazz, pop, fusion, and even orchestral music. This wasn’t enough to take up all the creative juices flowing in the veins of Zappa and he even ventured to direct feature-length films, music videos, and designing album covers. Zappa is considered to be the most stylistically diverse rockstar in the history of rock music.

Zappa was a composer by nature and a Rockstar by necessity. 


Diving into Zappa’s Life!

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The life of Zappa and the art today had one common problem, the tryst between creativity and commerce. The shortcomings of one lead to historical catastrophes in the propagation of art and literature which eventually hollows down humanity. Zappa (Documentary Film) directed by Alex Winter explores the life of Frank Zappa and does justice to this genre of filmmaking by making sure all the prerequisites for making a rockumentary were present and the essence of the struggle wasn’t overshadowed by the stardom achieved by hard work. The film provides everything that you might want and then some.

A man whose natural way of life was defying the boundaries set by the society or the artform itself. The film is a proper representation of the eccentric life of Zappa as it is wild and achieves it in a very positive manner. The film’s only drawback is that the mercurial life of this legend, no matter how appropriately done, can only be as good as a representative of an even more adventurous life.

Alex Winter’s direction is similar to Zappa’s arrival in music scene, out of nowhere as the film doesn’t want to shy away from being a bit different from the usual documentaries. The approach is simple and effective, as the film tries to let the gravity of Zappa to attract you to know more about his life, and it does. The journey from childhood to stardom is shown in an extremely presentable way and nothing seems forced or rushed.

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Zappa is a film that tries to encapsulate the complex life of this legend without trying to add complexity to the nature of film by trying to fictionalize the stranger than fiction real life of alleged ‘Modern Mozart‘.


Zappa is available for Video On Demand on Different Platforms.

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Shreshtha Shukla
"Thou art the suffering from which unwarranted melancholia emerges" Shreshtha Shukla is a writer, teacher, and a film enthusiast.

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