Menudo: Forever Young (2022)

Directed by: Angel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Rios

I wanted to see this documentary from the moment it was announced. Menudo is a group that it does not matter if you like them or not, their impact is undeniable and their story for so long was not known. I often say that you have a right to not like The Beatles, but you can’t deny their impact, the same can be said about this group from Puerto Rico, that by no means were not The Beatles, yet they impacted the music industry. A lot of interest has risen for the group in recent years, first you can say it started when members decided to tour again as “El Reencuentro” and the massive success that has been and then by the mini-series “Subete a mi moto” that focused more on their manager Edgardo Díaz. Now, this documentary is told mainly by members of different eras of Menudo.

The film is divided into 4 episodes of 45 minutes more or less each. It was interesting and we learn about the origins of how Edgardo Diaz came to the idea of Menudo and how to manage it, referring to the constant change of members when they reach a certain age. The documentary will show that on one side Diaz was a marketing genius but on the other side a man who exploited these kids and sucked the life out of them and made a lot of money without giving them a proper share, but that happens to many acts, just ask John and Paul, Billy Joel and others.

I think the first episode is the best one in terms that we see the main core of kids that made Menudo what they were. The first group included Johnny Lozada, Charlie Masso, Miguel Cancel, and Ricky Melendez among others that were part of what I, not a big fan, consider their best years. It was interesting to see the old footage of concerts and the crowd’s reactions to them wherever they went. In each episode we see and hear from members of the different eras, I would have loved to hear Robbi Rosa talk about his time in the band, to me he is the most talented of those who have been in the band in terms of writing songs even if Ricky Martin’s career was bigger.

The last episodes are hard to see, a lot of revelations and accusations. I think the biggest failure was in who was looking out for these kids and that allowed for many things that happened.

Menudo is a part of history and this was a great documentary that takes us back to those times and to see Puerto Rico as it was back then, what a trip. It was a ride of highs and lows for them and us as an audience as we remember the smiles they brought and low to hear what happened behind the scenes.

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