Review: BECOMING NOBODY Desperately Wants To Teach You Something… Anything…


Becoming Nobody is solidly-made, but the film's desire to teach the audience is obvious and frequently overwhelming.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Becoming Nobody, directed by Jamie Catto, is a new documentary exploring the philosophies of spiritual teacher Ram Dass. Although it is perhaps too preachy and specific to break out of niche audiences, there are still things to learn from Ram Dass even if you don’t entirely agree with some of his spiritual offerings.

The film has two main portions: one a historical exploration of Ram Dass’s rise, and the other a conversation between the filmmaker and Ram Dass about his teachings. Although his experiences of becoming a spiritual leader are quite interesting, the focus of the movie is not on his personal story, but instead, what he has to say and how his teachings have impacted others.

This is all well and good, but for those who are not interested in exploring the spiritual ideas Ram Dass holds, the film offers very little that will be of interest because of this one-sided approach. To hook those who do not believe in the teachings of a movie’s subject, the documentary needs to have a strong narrative, and that is what Becoming Nobody lacks.

Ultimately, the main thing which people can learn from Ram Dass is the idea of acceptance. Ram Dass’s teachings are a combination of Western and Eastern spiritual practices. By opening his eyes to other cultures, Ram Dass was able to come to his realizations. Although most audience members are unlikely to be open to his teachings, they can instead gain a sense of cultural awareness from the film.

becoming nobody dass

However, this positive message is sadly overwhelmed by the movie’s didactic nature. Although the film is not trying to “convert” the audience (Ram Dass isn’t a cult leader or anything like that), the feeling that the movie is trying to teach. The issue with this is that Ram Dass’s ideas are far too complex to be explored in an hour and a half, and as such, the film feels shallow and insubstantial.

That said, the movie does a good job of legitimizing Ram Dass as a teacher. Because the historical portions of the film are mixed with the interviews with Ram Dass, audience members will be able to get a decent sense of his personality. His humor in particular shines through, making the movie much more palatable than it would otherwise be.

The film is also quite strong on a technical level. The editing is solid, particularly the use of the Ken Burns effect to make archive photos appear more aesthetically appealing. Additionally, the score, while simple, is effective at setting the mood of the movie. Thanks to these qualities, the film is made slightly more watchable.

Becoming Nobody, while not unwatchable, is a documentary that tries too hard to preach to the audience and ends up delivering little more than watered down philosophy. Although those who are already aware of Ram Dass may take interest in this movie, others are unlikely to find this worth their time.

Becoming Nobody hits theaters on September 6.


Archer | Season 11: Guest Stars Cast Chat | FXX

Big season. Bigger guest stars. The Archer cast spill the beans on who is joining Season 11. #ComicConatHome #FXSDCC Subscribe now for more Archer clips: In season 11 of FXX‘s comedy Archer, “Sterling Archer“ is ready to return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence, Archer…

Every Ham in Supermarket Sweep | Netflix

Everyone knows when you're on Supermarket Sweep, you gotta go for the gold ... the gold-wrapped Farmer John hams. They're big money items that can secure your spot as the winner. We locked one of our editors in a ham freezer and told them to edit the show down to only our favorite parts: that…

Best Moments with Randy Marsh | South Park | HBO Max

No one holds the title for being a Jack of all trades better than Randy Marsh. Whether it's being a chef or holding a world record, Randy can do it all. Subscribe: Be the first to know more: HBO Max: Like HBO Max on Facebook: Follow HBO Max on Twitter: Follow…

The Vow (2020): Official Teaser | HBO

If you could overcome your fear and limitations, what would you commit to? The Vow, a new documentary series that takes an inside look at the NXIVM organization, premieres August 23 on HBO. #TheVowHBO #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: From Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (“The Square,” “Control Room,”…

Batwoman | Stream From The Beginning | The CW

Stream Batwoman from the beginning free only on The CW: SUBSCRIBE: About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be…

Ladhood – Trailer (Official) • The British Binge-cation on Hulu

All episodes of #Ladhood are now streaming on Hulu. #BritishBingecation ABOUT LADHOOD Award-winning writer Liam Williams delves into his past to help understand the man he's become in this innovative coming-of-age sitcom. Liam reflects on his teenage years in Leeds from the vantage point of his adult life in London. Has Liam really changed that…

Devs | Beautifully Envisioned FYC | FX

"Beautifully envisioned" -- Washington Post… Subscribe now for more Devs clips: Devs follows the story of a young software engineer, Lily Chan, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer which she believes is behind her boyfriend's murder. Devs stars Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny…

Piece Of Cake: Episode 1 – Let’s Chat Cake | Cake | FXX

What's it like to illustrate for Cake? We're chatting with the creator of "Daytime Noir", Jeron Braxton, and instructor of animation at Otis College Extension, Enoch Davis. Subscribe now for more Cake clips: Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized content served up to viewers as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here