Madonna – Exposed [1993]

Madonna - Exposed [1993] [DVD]

Release Date: October 28, 2002
Studio: Wienerworld
Artist: Madonna
Runtime: 84 minutes

As a shockumentary which supposedly reveals everything about Madge that she doesn't want us to know, Madonna Exposed backfires so completely it's actually good, but for all the reasons its producer-cum-host, the motor-mouthed showbiz hack Robin Leach, probably wanted to avoid. A no-trimmings release of a lowbrow TV production, the proceedings are set at a studio "party" in which a mish-mash of still pics and old demo tapes are paraded before an addled-looking audience. At intervals, various people who used to know La Ciccone are wheeled on to dish the dirt on her. Unfortunately there isn't any to speak of, so what emerges is a portrait of a hard-working, intelligent (she has an IQ of 140), psychologically complex showbiz professional whose energy, talent and commitment have brought her fame and fortune, all of which we knew already.

However, all of the above means that the production nevertheless works rather well as another source of facts for her followers. There's a lovely quote attributed to Warren Beatty--"She's a nice girl, but you can't take her anywhere"--and plenty of unintentional humour, such as when her former school counsellor, straining to dredge up any early wacky behaviour on Madge's part, recalls, "there was a time when she didn't shave her legs". Like, omigod!

Other "revelations" are that she didn't have any money in the early days, that she worked as a nude model to pay the rent, that she would occasionally shoplift and that she behaved in an affectionately flirtatious way towards female friends. No doubt there are first-year geography students with a similar lifestyle. What we do learn is how fascinating she was, how good she was at everything, how much respect she now commands and how much fun everybody had back then. All in all, then, a very enjoyable item for fans (and non-fans will inevitably find themselves on her side), but not the outragefest it claims to be.

On the DVD: Madonna Exposed has a single bogus "special feature" on this 4:3 DVD: nothing more than a menu which directs you to the contributions made by the individual guests. --Roger Thomas