‘Milli Vanilli’ review: Blame it on fame | ET REALITY


Artists Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus earn your empathy in the documentary “Milli Vanilli,” a shocking and revealing investigation into how fame destroyed them. The war of words film, directed by Luke Korem, unfolds like a whodunit.

The film chronicles the crazy events of Morvan and Pilatus’ naïve rise to the top in the late 1980s as Milli Vanilli, the image-forward pop duo who secretly lip-synced pre-recorded songs for live audiences. Her hits included “Girl You Know It’s True” and “Baby Don’t Forget My Number.”

At first, the duo needed money to escape poverty, but their celebrity status kept them hooked, and their German producer, Frank Farian, took the bait.

And then, the documentary revisits his fall: During a live performance on MTV In 1989, the song began to be skipped, exposing them as frauds. In 1998, Pilatus died of an overdose. “I lost my sobriety and all sense of reality,” we hear him say in the film.

Surprisingly, Korem gets those running the business side of Milli Vanilli, including Arista Records officials, to reveal the juicy details of what really happened to the duo: Morvan and Pilatus became Farian and the label’s scapegoats. As presented here, it’s easy to see how this could be the basis of a Jordan Peele horror film.

Morvan is the heart of the documentary; He reflects on the group’s past treatment (he believes they deserved that revoked Grammy) and raises still-relevant questions about the way the music industry exploits vulnerable artists. Charles Shaw, one of the real singers behind Milli Vanilli, says Farian, who also worked with the group Boney M., “made most of his money from black artists and it worked.”

Milli Vanilli
Not qualified. Duration: 1 hour 46 minutes. Watch it on Paramount+.

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