It can be a bit of a gamble when you rent "celebrity documentaries" on whether or not the production is a two-hour cringe-fest or not. This one is definitely not.
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman... Read moreare long-time friends and had been planning a bike tour together for some time. From starting out as an idea to ride to Spain together, a huge production evolves that sees them riding from London to New York via Eurasia and North America along with a sizeable entourage.
The Long Way Round is a series of episodes that document the planning process through to the actual journey and all the stresses and experiences along the way. It's a fascinating journey even just in the first four episodes on disc one. Seeing a more human and real side to a celebrity who, by virtue of the Hollywood machine, seems quite removed from reality so much of the time is both refreshing and gratifying. The camerawork is raw but compelling and the story flows well thanks to some very effective editing.
The amount of preparation that went into this project is huge, as is the size of the support crew but this never overshadows the core objective of two people riding alone across some very inhospitable countryside. There’s no camera trickery and every facet of the project is explained up front so the viewer never feels like there might be some smoke and mirrors going on; yet the feeling that you are going along for the ride with McGregor and Boorman is inescapable.
The documentary makes for compelling viewing, often seeing me start an episode at some very un-sensible hours. I’m looking forward to the arrival of disc 2.