“Save the American Icon, Tom…”
Soaked In Bleach tracks the real-life investigation of Tom Grant, a private investigator hired by Courtney Love after Kurt goes missing, 3 days before he is found dead in his Seattle home.
Taping every interaction he had in connection with the case, the film ties them together with re-enactments that leading up to the discovery of Cobain’s body and presents evidence that Grant maintains means Love has a level of responsibility in his death.
It’s a theory which has been around since 1994, but this is the first time I ever took it somewhat seriously. They present a gripping and somewhat convincing case and does it in such a unique way that I was left thinking about it hours after.
Soaked in Bleach, in summary, is haunting and captivating in a way that every crime documentary wants to be.
The weight of the film lies on the work of Sarah Scott, who portrays Courtney Love perfectly. Lifting her nuances straight from the tapes she’s emulating, you genuinely forget this isn’t the real Love you’re watching.
I never solidified my opinion as to whether or not I believed Courtney did kill Kurt, and after thinking about it, I still don’t know. A lot of weight gets put on the fact that, at the time, Love’s a junkie, so you can’t trust what she’s saying and in some cases, even she’s not totally sure.
So I find it hard to conceive the idea that despite the fact she’s admittedly high 90% of the time, she can still orchestrate an across-country assassination on her husband, arrange a tour for her band, and still be shooting up at a ‘rehab centre’ that’s effective in nothing but name.
I think the only person that would really know is Kurt Cobain himself, and it’s something that died with him.
It has to be mentioned as well that the film is beautifully shot. Every shot looks gorgeous, and it’s a testament to all involved in its creation.
The film caused a lot of controversy when it was first released as it coincided with the release of Courtney approved Montage of Heck, which I thought was good, but not as gripping as this.
Maybe it was because it was covering his life as opposed to just a couple of months, or because I felt it was missing vital components to get the insight fans (well, me) were waiting for. But I can see why Courtney was worried and tried to shut it down for so long.
Following Netflixs’ hit Making a Murderer, a lot of people love to consider themselves ‘armchair detectives’, myself included. Soaked in Bleach is perfect fodder for those people.
You can watch the trailer here: