Jonas brothers' documentary 'Chasing Happiness' is a raw coming-of-age tale that details their struggles before their colossal success
The three brothers, Nick, Joe, and Kevin, establish right at the beginning of the documentary that this is their final attempt at burying the hatchet.
It's been a big year for the Jonas Brothers. From marriages in the family to releasing their hot comeback single, 'Sucker,' and the most recently announced memoir set to release later this year, the Jo Bros, who rose to fame close to 2010 have proven yet again that their fame is consistent, and their fans - beyond loyal. But one of the biggest productions they have dropped yet has to be their documentary titled 'Chasing Happiness.'
The film shows the three brothers - Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas - detail their struggles towards the shiny pinnacle of success, their spirals and eventual split, and the phenomenal comeback as brothers. But the biggest highlight is that through the movie, they are not only acquiring the much-needed closure for themselves but also tying loose ends for fans through a grainy documentation that allows us to relive their journey not just as a third party observer.
The brothers establish right at the beginning of the documentary that this is their final attempt at burying the hatchet. It all begins as a trip to Joe's Australia home, where the three brothers spend time together for the first time in years. As the homeowner initiates what's supposed to be a fun drinking game, things soon turn intense, and this added layer of drama manages to set the documentary apart from several of its contemporaries. There's a story within the reality but none of it is particularly hard to believe. At the end of the day, the brothers do on screen what they do best and their showmanship shines through the harsh reality checks each of them go through.
But there's no denying that much like Nick calling all the shots when the band of brotherhood was in full swing, this documentary showcases most of it through his lenses. That can be explained by how Nick was the only Jonas Brother who found solo success after drifting away from the band, and has been able to maintain a consistent track record at topping charts even when the band wasn't anymore. While Joe dabbled in a lot of things, their eldest brother Kevin went on to pursue life as a full-time family man. And the documentary shows none of them really happy with the paths they had chosen, except Nick. But it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for Nick either, as it was he who initiated the conversation on splitting up, and it was also him who had mentioned for the first time post-split that he misses performing with his brothers.
Through a nuanced detailing of the past, they showcase a plethora of emotions - all raw, unique, and brutal at the same time - something that fans wouldn't have been able to even imagine that the Disney poster-children were even capable of. For that, however, a lot of credit must go to the narration the brothers' parents put into the film. Kevin Sr. and Denise Jonas open up a Pandora's box when it comes to laying down every last bit of struggle they underwent to help their kids' stardom, and that is a side to the story that has been barely discussed in conversations about the Jonas brothers' climb to fame.
In the very initial moments of the documentary, the voiceover says that they must do this the right way, addressing their then-unreleased comeback music. And for that, they establish a ground rule to focus on being brothers before anything else. There's a lot of heart to the rest of the film, something that has both shock and sentimental value. But none of it is overdone. The three brothers tell their story as if they are your next door neighbors whom you've known all your life. The narrative brims with modesty and clips of their childhood, falling out with the church, Nick's encounter with diabetes, Joe's depression and Kevin's resentment humanizes them in such a comforting manner that you almost feel sorry for them; it strips them down to the core as simple humans like the general populace, but in the end, you just end up feeling proud for the kids who never gave up on positivity and perseverance.
Directed by John Lloyd Taylor, the Jonas brothers' Amazon documentary 'Chasing Happiness' premieres on the streaming network on Tuesday, June 4.
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