Talented, adorable, geeky, whimsical, weird, and absolutely inspiring – all the best adjectives can’t possibly describe the fantastic Ms. Katy Perry. From her quirky sense of fashion to her impeccable talent for writing songs that get down and dirty, Katy Perry seems to have it all; however, as we learn in her self-produced documentary, Katy Perry: Part of Me, the road to stardom may hold a few detours, as well as a sprinkling potholes, for good measure.
What I expected from this movie was a lot of happy, happy, happy – I mean, come on, it’s Katy Perry. It’s like a bizarre fairy tale, so colorful and chock-full of sweet treats, it’s almost inevitable that you will walk away with a sugar high (or adult onset diabetes). Instead, the audience gets a very honest, albeit sometimes shielded view of the life of a world-famous pop sensation.
While I can’t say I enjoyed everything about this movie, there was a great deal I loved, and a definite amount I appreciated. First, I will briefly touch on what I didn’t like about this movie. The movie opens with a series of video clips sent in by Katy Perry’s fans. They talk about how much her music inspires them, how much they idolize her, what values they find in her lyrics, etc. The editing is then done in such a way that the last video before we get into the meat of the movie is a video clip of Katy herself at the age of 18, talking to the camera about her music and her life at that time. I felt that the clips of the fans were cheesy and somewhat contrived, and really just started the movie off on a strange note that never really fit in with the rest of the movie’s aesthetic. On a large scale, that was really the most notably unsuccessful portion of the film.
To be quite honest, the rest of the documentary was enthralling. For someone such as myself, who rarely ventures of out the cavernous hole that is my basement bedroom, to go to places of massive chaos (such as a Katy Perry concert), this movie was the ultimate way to partake in the live concert experience without blowing hundreds of dollars on tickets, parking, souvenirs, enduring the mobs of screaming, crying, hysterical fans, or losing hearing in my other ear. Katy Perry’s concerts are ridiculous – and by ridiculous, I mean mind-blowingly AWESOME. From multiple costume changes on stage during Hot N’ Cold to fantastic covers of her own songs, Katy Perry’s concerts are a ridiculously good time.
Still, not everything is as wonderful and sugary-sweet as her stage presence; rather, some of what she deals with – juggling a full work schedule, meet-and-greets, rehearsals, and making time for her relationship with her new husband, Russell Brand – isn’t as spectacular as perhaps the rest of us think it would be. This was something I really appreciated about this movie. Rather than focusing on just the fun of her tour, there was a lot of real emotion and honest insight into the journey that leads to stardom. Things like being shuffled around different recording companies, and being treated as a unique artist, rather than “the next (insert big pop star name here)” were just a few of the challenges that Katy faced in her attempts to become a professional singer.
Of course, another challenge Katy faced was the strain that her year-long tour had on her relationship with Russell. Something that the movie’s progression highlighted well was the downward progression that Katy’s demeanor took as her tour went on, and as her relationship with Russell became more strained and difficult to manage. Still, the end of the movie ends on a positive note, and shows how the ups and downs of stardom may not take one down the road they started out on, but it doesn’t always make the outcome bad.
If you don’t like Katy Perry or her music, I don’t know why you would go to a movie about Katy Perry…and her music. So, I would suggest if that describes you, to not attend this movie, because it’s a Katy-fest, and it’s fabulous. If you are a Katy addict, or just love her music and want to know more about her background and how she got started in the industry, this is a really informative and interesting look into everything that this pop goddess is about.
Katy Perry: Part Of Me – 8/10