‘People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis,’ notes Super Hans in ‘Peep Show’. ‘You can’t trust people.’ When even fictional characters are taking the piss out of you, you’ve got to have broad shoulders. Luckily, as director Mat Whitecross’s fly-on-the-wall doc/concert film charts, Coldplay definitely have them. These four old uni pals are captured navigating difficult times in between Glastonbury gigs, umpteen singalong anthems and global success, with frontman Chris Martin’s break-up with Gwyneth Paltrow one of the morose low points.
What they don’t have, happily for them but to the detriment of this film, is the kind of rock ’n’ roll dysfunction that makes for a really juicy music doc like ‘Dig!’, ‘Some Kind of Monster’, or Whitecross’s own Oasis film ‘Supersonic, basically a Cain and Abel story with amps.
So if you’re looking for an exposé of a band with a vast appetite for destruction, you’re not going to make it through the first group hug. But while his bandmates are happy to fade into the background, Martin – part puppy dog, part jack-in-the-box – is a magnet for the camera. He’s restless, funny, insecure and likeable – often all at the same time. Only the band’s confetti-strewn stadium gigs, seemingly choreographed by a drunk Italian wedding planner, are as irrepressible as he is.