A look at the life, career and music of singer Katy Perry as we follow her on the California Dreams World Tour.A look at the life, career and music of singer Katy Perry as we follow her on the California Dreams World Tour.A look at the life, career and music of singer Katy Perry as we follow her on the California Dreams World Tour.
I started watching this movie expecting it to be your standard mega-produced, glamorous, glitzy promotion like most insanely successful pop stars put out. It sort of began that way, with spectacular concert footage cutting to clips of screaming kids singing along in the street, a few airplanes, exotic locations, makeup room shots of the star, blah blah blah, it's really a canned formula. But pretty soon the tone shifted dramatically and took us right to her humble origins. That's when things started getting interesting because the film becomes less about the "celebrity du jour" but instead it becomes a unique story of how a normal person became the "celebrity du jour". So I decided to watch a little longer.
I won't go into her life details which everyone but me probably knew already, but she really is the quintessential rebel, a preacher's daughter who began singing Christian songs in her teens, but then left her conservative home for L.A. and, well, started writing songs like "I Kissed a Girl". It could've been fun if the filmmakers had played up the drama & controversy of this break from her puritanical upbringing, but they decided not to go there. The movie remains wholesome and family friendly throughout. Aww, bummer, I thought and again played with the idea of changing the channel to reruns of "The Headbanger's Ball".
But then... ah yes, here's where the real fun begins. Although I see other reviewers have complained about this movie milking her shaky marriage to comedian Russell Brand, I thought that angle is precisely what made it a great documentary. Not because I was drooling over the saucy details of celebrity love lives, but because this theme is excellently woven into to the age old motto of the performing artist since the first stage was built: "The show must go on".
And that, mixed with electrifying performances, some bits of humor and of course screaming teens, is how "Part of Me" becomes a great experience, especially for those of us (performers or not) who have ever had to suppress our own misery and hardship for the sake of "the show". The film pulls no punches. It shows Katy at her best and her worst on this 300+ day tour that ended up rocketing her career while practically destroying her personal life.
I highly recommend this film to performing & touring musicians of all genres. I also recommend this to anyone who is struggling to balance a career with a family life. My only disappointment is that it didn't feature as much behind-the-scenes music (rehearsals, jams, etc), instead focusing more on stage production & dance choreography. It's all impressive, but I would've loved to see the guitarist practicing his solos, or Katy singing alongside a piano. Instead all the music is from the show, produced and polished without any blemishes that make rehearsals fun to watch.
My favorite tour video of ALL TIME is called "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" which is an unintentionally hilarious look at a metal band's comeback attempt. That's the raw stuff I like to see. "Katy Perry Part of Me" is on polished side, but it still delivers a very human story with a lot of value. So, yes, I recommend this movie. It didn't make me fall asleep. In fact you could say "I'm wide awake" (boo hisss)
- Jan 7, 2016