Modern music ‘icon’ Katy Perry is the latest to release a biographical account of her life mixed with concert footage in Katy Perry: Part of Me. Expect an in depth look at this troubled singers trials and tribulations as she struggles to make her way to the top of the notoriously difficult to break market of popular music.
Oh look, bright colours!
There is no plot here; instead, the cameras follow Perry as she tours the world in her most exhaustive and expansive schedule ever. Cut between the recorded live performances, her life is chronicled from a young child and she explains how her religious upbringing was a major part of her image now. The film also captures her relationship with Russell Brand, and how the stresses of her busy career contributed to their downfall.
So without any real narrative, it begs the question: why was this a cinematic release? It never feels like an experience, and would surely have suited more to the biography channel or, at a stretch, straight to DVD. There’s seems to have been no effort to make it stand out, or come across as original. Which is ironic, as Perry is known for her outlandish outfits. Some are exhibited here, but herein lies my first real criticism: the preparation for these concerts is massively overlooked. We never really get the full scope of just how big these shows are; each major player is introduced (make up, stylist, manager etc) and their relationship to Katy is explained, but for the most part the show itself takes a back seat to Katy’s life, only being shown when she’s performing songs.
The majority of her major hits are included, such as Firework, Extraterrestrial, California Girls and Peacock. The latter I’d not heard before, but the lyrical content is about as subtle as a brick to the face. We like to think of ourselves as a respectable review site, so I’m not going to give any excerpts of that filth, but if you’ve also not heard it, check the lyrics out here. That’s what a role model today writes.
Even after watching this, I don’t think it revealed anything more than what fans already knew about Perry. Nor is it overly interesting in any way – slightly difficult upbringing, moves to Hollywood, has no money, gets noticed, gets deal and we’re into the present. A lot, and I mean a lot of screen time is dedicated to the break up of her and Brand. Unsurprisingly, the events are construed to make him out to be a bad guy, what with her being the one who does all the travelling to him, and him not being supportive. When the divorce finally occurs, the film takes a laughably dramatic turn for the worse, with slow piano music and close up of tears. Okay, so I assume a divorce is a difficult time in someones life, but it overstays its welcome here.
It’s not all bad though, and I enjoyed the ‘behind the scenes’ look at Katy, minus the make up. Believe me, if you’ve never seen her without it, she looks totally different. And the short section about her early influences including Alanis Morrissette are probably the closest it comes to being remotely entertaining. But what it really boils down to is whether you’re a fan of hers or not. If you enjoy her music, there’s no doubt this will pique your interest. As for the ‘rest-of-the-world’, move along: there’s nothing to see here.