Since the release of Michael Jackson’s concert-documentary movie This Is It in 2010, the genre has taken off as everyone from JLS to Justin Bieber realises there is money to be made, and Katy Perry is the latest member of pop royalty to release her own.
Documenting her professional highs, and personal lows, the whole movie is structured around 3D performances of Perry’s hits, taken from her 124-date California Dreams world tour. Chapters of her life are portrayed to fit in with the narrative of each song, as ‘Teenage Dream’ is linked in to her Christian upbringing and her dream of becoming a pop superstar, and ‘I Kissed A Girl’ to her whirlwind chart breakthrough following years of trying to succeed in the music industry.
Later on, the film shows the more publicised parts of Katy Perry’s life, but in a way which has not been seen before. ‘Not Like The Movies’ is linked in with her marriage and divorce from Russell Brand, with Perry being physically exhausted from being on tour for almost 300 days. At one point, harrowing scenes show her sobbing backstage as she tries to deal with her depression, but she the forces a smile on her face and performs a full set to fans in Brazil. These scenes are a reminder that no matter how many impressive quick-changes she does on stage, pyrotechnics that are used, or backing dancers she has supporting her, she is still a real woman coming to terms with an immense personal blow.
If you’re a Katy Perry fan, you will love this film. It showcases her talent as a performer, but also her endearing personality and that she is a genuine person with real feelings. The performances which appear throughout the film include her best known singles such as ‘Firework‘, ‘California Gurls‘, ‘E.T‘, and ‘Last Friday Night‘, and are done with theatricality and great staging that only she can pull off. If watched in 3D, the size of the arenas that she plays in and scale of her whole show make the performances a joy to watch. However, this is a concert film, and so obviously, if you’re not a huge Katy Perry fan, you probably won’t enjoy it that much. It is a very interesting incite into her life, but may drag if you aren’t interested in the world of ‘celebrity culture’.
Katy Perry: Part Of Me (2012), directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, is distributed by Paramount Pictures, Certificate PG.