Out of all the celebrities and people in the world, there’s only a few of them that I truly admire and look up to. Bill Gates just so happens to be one of them. Love him or loathe him, there’s no question that the man is one of the most brilliant minds to ever set foot on this planet and his software has gone on to revolutionize the world we live in today. Chronicling his life journey alongside tackling some pretty mammoth global problems, Inside Bill’s Brain is a fascinating, well-written and thought provoking journey into the life of this prolific man.
With a split focus between past and future, the three part documentary follows a pretty similar pattern across the episodes, as we see the history of Bill Gates interspersed around him and Melinda working together to try and solve world problems. From sanitation in the developing world and curing polio through to the current climate change issue, Bill approaches each of these with an equal mix of enthusiasm and curiosity. Across the three episodes the tone is suitably grounded yet surprisingly unbiased, as some of the later episodes shed light on the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s monopoly of the software market.
There’s a nice balance across the series too, as both Melinda and Bill are interviewed and we see their past and present lives colliding together into their joint foundation that has gone on to help millions of people. The archival footage does well to paint a portrait and flesh out their history while the camera crews following Bill and Melinda around as they meet some of the brilliant minds do well to add some variety to proceedings.
Aesthetically there’s a nice blend of stock photos, archival footage and handheld cameras used throughout the three episodes and it certainly adds a good variety to proceedings as jump back and forth in Bill’s life. There’s also some nicely implemented hand-drawn animations too which are usually reserved for some of the more emotional moments, something I suspect is a deliberate ploy to prevent the series from straying too far from the optimistic tone the series takes.
If there’s one thing I love about Bill Gates it’s his sickening work ethic and unwavering enthusiasm. It’s something a lot of people should be aspiring to do and seeing Bill hit numerous roadblocks but bounce back stronger than before is pretty inspiring and motivational as you sit and watch the three episodes. Of course, it would be easy to scoff at this concept and point at Bill’s fortunes as a means for his happiness but the series does go out of its way to show Bill’s work ethic before his fortunes. Of course the show’s message also rings true here throughout the show with the simple but very effective – “If it doesn’t work, work harder”.
Part-historical biography and part problem-solving documentary, Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates is a fascinating exploration into the mind and life of one of our greatest living legends. You may not like the man, nor agree with his ideas, but there’s no denying that he’s putting his wealth to good use and trying to make a difference in this world. With an unbiased tone and a great mix of interviews and educational content, this 3-part documentary series is well worth checking out and one of the better options in this category on Netflix.
Verdict - 8/10