Beautiful cinematography, well acted and an interesting subject matter. "Beyond the Sea" is the Bobby Darin story. Most known for singing "Mac the Knife" and "Splish Splash," Bobby Darin was a hot swanky singer who died at a young age in later 1960's.
My parents where not into music, but their small album collection (about 25 vinyls) included one Bobby Darin record. And when I was a kid, they'd play me "Splish Splash" and I liked it. That's all I knew of Bobby Darin until just recently when PBS rolled his last taped concert. What a talented, effervescent personality!
Kevin Spacey plays the part with a lightness that is aggravated only intermittently by the nagging reality of life and death. But even these serious moments have softened edges, the film rarely feels heavy. Always interesting and entertaining, but never especially deep and certainly not dark.
Spacey sings the songs of Darin. While Spacey has a nice voice, it doesn't have the spark of Darin. This is not a negative -- just not a positive.
The film addresses (in a mild way) Darin's identity crisis. The child Bobby appears to sit and chat briefly with the older Darin. While this scripting technique is pleasant enough, it doesn't quite break through into smashing drama. And in the end goes one big production longer than necessary, missing a very sweet spot to draw the curtains.
Btw, though many may link "Beyond the Sea" with Darin, many many more will not. Though Spacey apparently preferred to be less subtle than "Mac the Knife," the film's title may be an unfortunate detriment to its popularity.
This film screened on DVD.