Camilo Sesto, when he was chaining one success after another, attended a screening of Jesus Christ Superstar. He thought it was the best thing he had ever seen in his life and, instead of standing idly by, he decided to risk his fame and his savings to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical to the Spanish stage. He did not care that his collaborators, fearful of both the regime's censorship and its golden goose, advised him against it. It is the starting point of Camilo Superstar which, instead of wanting to be a narration of the singer's entire career, aims to vindicate his bravery in the late Franco era.
This very focused look, on paper, forces interest in the proposal, even for those who remember Sesto as a show animal with a shaggy hairstyle until his last days. But, when taking a first look at the first episode provided to the media, the project falters due to the lack of that courage that is precisely honored in the Alcoyan artist. Watching Camilo Superstar is a bland experience. At times, it even feels like we've seen it before because, like recent biopics like Bosé or Cristo y Rey, it doesn't offer a look at the material at its disposal but rather follows a kind of impersonal guidelines of period fiction.
There are scenes where the singer is threatened by those who in theory looked out for his interests. There are meetings with Rtve directors. He tries to show the authenticity of his person by returning to his people. Women throw themselves at him and, of course, he occasionally gives in to temptation. We see him so physically exhausted in a performance that one ultimately fears whether he will fall on that Latin American stage or not. They are commonplaces that, since they are based on real events, cannot be criticized either. What is reprehensible is that, of all the opportunities that are presented to them, none are taken advantage of.
How can it be that the starting point is Sesto overwhelmed by the Christian musical and then, when it comes to showing the singer in his performances, the direction is so predictable? Little outfits, warm lighting and a recognizable hairstyle do not build an era. And, by presenting the character through absolutely all the clichés of the singer exploited by his representatives in a decade where artistic independence was a utopia, one of the incentives is lost: that idea of being able to go directly to a concrete and decisive experience. in the life of Camilo Sesto.
Camilo Superstar is a work that borders on ridiculousness due to its conventionality and lack of creative decisions (or at least choices that try to build a story beyond a Wikipedia page). It's like he's confusing being approachable with denying himself a personality. Perhaps its function is to be remounted with scenes from Bosé and Christ and the King, for the montage to be reproduced in an artistic installation and thus represent the evils of the contemporary biopic.