George and Giles Martin’s Fabs mash-ups for the 2006 Love album may have enraged some purists, but their imaginative reworkings (“walking a tightrope of taste”, Sir George admits in this documentary) enthral when digested in tandem with the extraordinary visuals of Cirque du Soleil’s Vegas production.
Working with a budget far exceeding most Hollywood blockbusters, creative director Guy Laliberte put together a highly stylised re-telling of the Beatles’ story, with the full blessing – and considerable input – of Macca, Ringo and, especially, the widows Harrison and Lennon. Scenes from production rehearsals in both Vegas and Cirque’s Montreal base are illuminating, including Yoko Ono lambasting the Come Together sequence for being “too sleazy”.
Ultimately, it’s a monumental triumph, as much a tribute to George Harrison (who had the original idea) as it is a glossy extravaganza for deep-pocketed tourists. The Martins should be applauded fort their boldness while staying true to the brilliance of the songs, while Cirque deserve credit for bringing a touch of class to the capital of tackiness.