I recently made a purchase on Amazon US for a DVD called Starbucking. All I knew about it was about a guy who has made it his life’s work to visit every Starbucks in the world. My motivation to buy it I think was to sneer at this guy doing this really strange project, and also wondering a little if this was some sort of promotional thing Starbucks had set up.
In the beginning I had no connection with this main character Winter. He seems very excitable a little immature and very strange. Straight away you realise there is no corporate intervention here, if they were going to select someone he wouldn’t be your guy. You can see the physical and mental strain Starbucks PR department must have with Winter. They want all the good publicity he brings (and he gets treated like a mini superstar when he arrives at a “bucks”). But you can see they want to keep him at arms length as he is very unpredictable, he is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
The more the film goes on, the more I begin to warm to him as a person. Yes he’s strange but he loves this mini celebrity he has become, and you realise Starbucks is just the vehicle he has found to make people be interested in him, and more importantly to give him direction. In fact Starbucks really doesn’t mater, it could be anything or any one in the world. The coffee became less important in the film and the whole looking at someone’s life became the primary focus. I didn’t even mind he liked Starbucks (although I was desperate to pull him a real shot of something to wake him up). There seemed a different personality to Winter when he was talking about what he did than we he was doing at it.
You get insight into his personal life. The relationships he builds seem to be very transient and very shallow a little like his everyday life driving up and down the country for coffee (even swapping continents). He doesn’t seem to have a lot of substance to anything he does apart from a drive to do what he does and become a celebrity.
You also find out a little about his upbringing, and his real name isn’t winter. In fact you don’t really know who he is apart from a loner who goes to Starbucks.
I finished up upside down from my original expectations of the movie. I really enjoyed it, I didn’t expect too, I thought I’d hate the guy, I really liked him, and I thought I’d hate his goal and you know I loved it. Its something he can really never achieve I’m sure he knows it but he carries on, because it gives him some notoriety, it gives him a goal and it makes him feel good. Great film.