Despite his heavenly, soul-tapped falsetto, Marvin Gaye was no angel. This documentary about the hallowed singer doesn't lose sight of that fact while tracking his whole conflicted life and career. Gaye's jealous, abusive, cross-dressing preacher father (who'd eventually murder him) was a great source of the star's psychological complexity, and the the flick keeps returning to their strange relationship, one of the many fascinating parts of this dark story.
A number of former colleagues, including Motown founder (and ex-brother-in-law) Barry Gordy, provide a not-always-glowing portrait of the artist - Gaye may have been a genius in the studio, but apparently his live shows sucked. Several other intriguing sub-stories also surface along the way: how paranoid Marvin really identified with the lyrics to I Heard It Through The Grapevine; adding the "e" to his last name, and his shift from love songs to social odes to sex jams as he harmonized his personal demons. Tons of incredible archival footage, too. The only awkward thing is the narration by someone pretending to be Gaye.