Glorified Documentary, with magical Editing

After last year’s disappointing concert movies, Never Say Never and Glee 3-D, I had lost hope for the genre.  With mediocre visual effects, miniscule segments of the artists’ numbers, and an overwhelming number of shots of the fans, these movies are more annoying than entertaining.  So when Katy Perry, the record setting pop artist of this generation announced her movie was coming out, well I just rolled my eyes.  Yet I boldly walked into the teen and preteen girl audience and gave the movie a shot.  What did I think?  Read on to find out.

Like most concert movies, the plot of Katy Perry Part of Me is about the life of Katy Perry.  The audience gets a glimpse into the blue haired singer’s origins and her rise to fame and fortune.  Now like most concert movies the simplistic plot is usually fragmented and skimmed to allow the producers to cram as many songs into the movie.  These samples as I like to call them often involve the performer showing off a few moves, or serenading a random audience member, while focusing more on the screaming audience.  Too my surprise, this movie decided to break that mold, or rather shift to a more balanced concert movie that is quite enjoyable to see.

Perhaps the first thing I’ll share is the presentation of Katy’s back story.  Instead of jamming her story into a ten to fifteen minute introduction, this movie decided to gradually uncover her past throughout the movie using the situations from the tour as the bridge back into the past.  When Katy met up with her grandmother with a gift and talked about her show, the scene would shift to a young Katy Perry and her tendency to act out and get attention.  If she was having trouble finding motivation or ran into a rough spot, they would use that situation to tell a story of how she started out in the record world.  While the interviews sometimes throw the order out of whack, overall it is presented in a manner that helps develop her character.

Regardless of whether you are in Katy’s past or present, the audience is able to get the full emotional force of the lessons she tries to teach.  Contrary to belief, Ms. Perry didn’t obtain her success over night, but had to face some rather tough challenges.  This movie shows the journey she took to overcome those challenges and while sometimes overdramatic, is well filmed and edited to help bring out those emotions.  What’s even more impressive is the use of twitter tweets to help show Katy’s inner thoughts over the course of her challenges that helps the audience gain a deeper understanding of her mindset.  Perhaps the best part about these struggles though is the message Katy sends to her fans that is close to her heart and soul, which is to work hard and never give up.  No matter what obstacle came in her way she persevered to keep her dream alive and maintain her integrity to reach her goals.  This goal is indeed admirable and one that many will take to heart, but what the movie fails to also drive as strong is the amount of support she had.  Yes she faced some tough struggles and times, but as her friends and family constantly said in their interviews they were there and ready to catch her should she fall; a luxury not everyone can say they had.

Now the Katy Perry fans out there might be wondering if we get to hear her music in the movie, or if like Glee it’s snippets that don’t do the artist justice.  Too my surprise and entertainment not only do we get to hear her music, but actually get to dive into one of her concerts.  Yes, fans those who wanted to see Ms. Perry’s international tour, but couldn’t get a chance in this movie.  Over the hour and half, the audience gets to see many of her songs, both popular and less known, performed on stage.  While this may not sound any different from a concert movie, Katy Perry’s concerts have more magic and spunk than a typical singer.  Kids, and kid at hearts like me, are certain to enjoy the flashy lights, upbeat lyrics, and creative dance numbers that she has come up with.  While younger audience members will just be caught up in her music, those who appreciate imagination, creativity, and dreams will love the work that is in this concert.  What I can only dream of happening at a concert has been made into a reality by Katy and her crew, which further adds an entertainment value that cannot be left out.  Some of these numbers are interlaced with shots of her life outside the stage, which was well edited to fit the situation.  Another thing people might not realize though is the order and timing of the songs.  Instead of just performing the songs in any random order, this movie chooses the songs for the mood of the movie.  At the beginning, the songs are supposed to rope you into the fun and entertainment, yet as Katy’s life is further unfolded the songs begin to match the mood and the emotions of the scenes.  For me, this helped make the song more powerful and helped me get into the music, concert, and her life even more.

Surprisingly Katy Perry’s concert movie was not as bad as I expected.  The imagination, emotion, and determination of the singer is incredible and a message everyone should take to heart.  However, it is a glorified documentary and could have been good on VH1, instead of coming to the movie theater, but hey 3-D has to go somewhere.  However, the editing and direction of this movie is impressive and as such my scores for this movie are the following:

Documentary/Music:  8.5

Movie Overall:  5.5-6.0

As always leave feedback on how I can improve or send an email at rgkarim@mail.roanoke.edu.  Thanks!

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