Friday, June 16, 2023

Road to D-Day on Disney+: A Documentary Review

As part of the promotion for his latest album, BTS member Min Yoongi/SUGA, also known as Agust D, released a documentary on Disney+ called Road to D-Day. The one hour and twenty minutes long film shares his journey as he makes the last album for his Agust D trilogy. 

The documentary starts with Agust D wondering if he still had a story to tell and worrying that he had nothing to write about. The entire docu shares his journey to different parts of the United States, Japan, and Korea. He tries to find inspiration through traveling and by meeting up with and learning from other artist friends such as Steve Aoki, Halsey, and Anderson.Paak. He also mentions meeting up with “Chris,” who I assume to be Chris Martin of Coldplay, although he was never shown in any of the footage in Road to D-Day. 

It was hilarious how amazed Yoongi was to see Steve Aoki’s home and all the BTS memorabilia that he had in it. He thought he only displayed them because he was coming, but many fans are familiar with how Steve has often posted these memorabilia in his home. It’s nice seeing Asian artists coming together and supporting each other. I’m also excited to hear whatever song he was working on with Anderson.Paak was that they showed in this one.

If there was ever any doubt that the members of BTS wrote and produced their own songs, watching Agust D as he writes lyrics and create music in this documentary is proof of this. I found it impressive how he could create music from anywhere – be it in a studio or just in front of his laptop with a pen and a yellow pad. I also found it refreshing to see him without fancy clothes, hairstyles, and makeup. Viewers would get to see him not just as that idol from BTS but as the man behind the music. 

Getting to see the creative process of what inspires him to use a certain beat or write according to a certain theme was interesting to watch, especially now that I have heard the finished product. I also got to learn a bit about what pushes him to keep making more music and how he creates songs for other people, which he has also been known to (successfully) do.

As a creative myself, I thought that seeing him stay in the In the Soop 2 house to write music to be away from outside influences was a good idea. When he said we get too influenced by outside noise, it made me think about why I’ve stalled in some of my own work. I was distracted by that noise too. Seeing him control his environment to be able to create/write has inspired me to do something similar for myself too. 

Apart from following him around, Road to D-Day also features live performances (some clips, some full songs) of Polar Night, Amygdala, People Pt. 2 (IU sounded amazing in this one compared to the track in the album, in my opinion), Snooze, and Haegum, all from the new album D-Day. Daechwita, which is the most popular song from his previous album D-2, was also part of those featured live performances, along with People (also from D-2). 

Yoongi talks about how he was wondering, after achieving the things that he wanted, including things he did not expect, what else he could write about, and what he should be thinking about now that he is in his 30s. The traveling had also made him realize that the endless work that he had committed himself to, as much as he loves it, he also needed to be experiencing life to have something more to write about. 

One of my favorite parts of Road to D-Day was when he shared Amygdala with Jimin when they were doing In the Soop, which led to a further explanation of the story behind the song. It was moving for me when he was explaining what the song was about, especially since it is a story that I could relate to myself. I love how he opened himself up and wrote this song. Being honest about something like this and sharing it with others can help listeners be open about their personal traumas. I find that sometimes it is when we open up and face them that we can finally let go of all the pain that our past traumas have caused us so I have found that this song is something that has a special meaning for me. 

Near the end of the documentary, Yoongi is shown meeting one of his childhood idols, Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose film score of The Last Emperor helped inspire Yoongi to make music. It was cute to see Yoongi, being one of the members of the most popular group in the world, be a fan for a change. You can tell how nervous and excited he was to meet Mr. Sakamoto. Ryuichi Sakamoto was already suffering from cancer at the time that they met and sadly, he had already passed away before D-Day was released. The song Snooze something that they had worked on together before he passed and I thought that made the track even more special than it already is. 

The documentary concludes with Yoongi talking about how people worry about a future that isn’t there yet and a past that cannot be changed. He says that the only thing we have control of is the present and that is the kind of story that he wants to share. He says he has written down what he has to say, and now it is up to people to judge his work and only time will tell what that would be.
I enjoyed watching Road to D-Day. I learned so much about Yoongi’s song-making process and about him as the person behind the idol. If you’re a BTS fan, I think that Road to D-Day is a must-watch. 

I only have one question about this though: early in the documentary he kept mentioning a song called About 30…was this in D-Day and what song was it? If anyone knows the answer to that please let me know!


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