Velvet Goldmine is a movie that tackles human fantasies, identities, and relationships. From the characters of Brian Slade, (who was blinded by ambition, fame, and idolatry) to Curt Wild, (who was already been considered as a has-been, wasted talent, and a basket case), and Arthur Stuart (who was confused, isolated, and misunderstood) we can identity bits and pieces of ourselves as well as the very nature of humanity.
It is natural for us to dream and in dreaming we tend to live in a fantasy which we strive to materialize in our very hands. It is actually better to dream and ending up attaining it rather than just having it stuck inside your head, disturbing you until you eventually die not making it to a reality. Yes, it’s better to actually dream big, to dream to the point of even changing the world, but as the cliché goes, before changing the world, we should first change ourselves. And that is somewhat similar to what happened to both Brian Slade and Curt Wilde, in a not so positive way since rather than changing the world, they did end up changing only themselves. We should always remember that we all have our own place in the world and that all of us are somewhat connected with each other.
It is our egos that usually make us feel invincible and indestructible, that as long as we get the proper recognition, attention, and applause, we tend to forget that as human beings, life and everything in it is only temporary. We tend to forget our relationships with other people especially those who’re there for us even at the very beginning, when we’re all nameless and unrecognized by all, ready to support and to back us up. Brian Slade’s first manager who was the first to discover him but then replaced since the other promised Slade for a far greater spotlight, and then his wife, being betrayed and disrespected because of Slade’s bisexual gimmick. I guess it is common mistake for us to forget about the people around us since we tend to become selfish and ungrateful at times.
What was problematic in this story was that instead of Brian Slade making amends, asking for forgiveness and rebuilding his life, he made the desperate move of going to the act of being publicly murdered to be thought as dead by everyone and from there, change his identity and his whole life. This was considered as a cowardly and an act of deception, not only by the people, who knows him very well, but his supporters and the whole industry
The film, as colorful, vibrant, and full of life as it is, is full of pain, hatred, and deep frustrations. It is the irony of being on top of the world but feeling empty since you have no one to share your happiness and success with. Indeed it is cold and lonely at the top, and that’s why Brian Slade decided to end his “life” and begin anew.