The End of Arrogance

In Gimme Shelter, a preening rock star's humility is just a stab away

To conclude, the Maysles offer Jagger one last look at himself. The film closes with a variation of the old cinema verité trick, with Jagger watching the playback of Hunter's murder. To call Jagger's response to the playback "cruel" is to miss the point. The shot itself is cruel, no less so because Jagger has assented to it. After all, how do we expect Jagger to respond? His ambiguous glare and bit lip seem callous, but Jagger is called upon to act like a human here, to demonstrate a human emotion, to play a role for which he never auditioned.

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