I’m on a bit of a documentary kick at the moment. Having forgotten that I had added the Katy Perry concert film as a half-joke to my Lovefilm list, I was more than a little surprised when they sent my an e-mail saying it was on its way. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and not only watch it, but share my thoughts on it too. Just call me Mr. Open Mind. Actually, if we’re talking nicknames, can you just refer to me as “The 12 Incher” instead? Everyone should know about my favourite pizza diameter.
Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
I quite like Katy Perry. When I first heard her debut single “I Kissed a Girl” I hated it. It was the pop song equivalent of an attention seeking bimbo, pretending to more more drunk than she actually is, necking with her best friend on the dancefloor in the hope that some boys are watching. Since then, I haven’t minded her singles and actively liked a few. Her pitchy voice isn’t good and it sounds even worse live, but it’s inoffensive catchy pop. Something for which I have a soft spot for.
Part of Me follows Katy Perry round on a year long global tour. That’s basically it. For the first half of the film it seemed to be what I was expecting: rigidly sticking to the usual pattern of backstage shenanigans, interviews and stage performances. It was a basic exercise in brand promotion, complete with fans saying how much of an inspiration she is and her family saying she was always destined for stardom etc etc. So far, so eye-rolling. What really surprised me though was the second half where she’s clearly knackered from jetting back and forth all the time and trying to hold her doomed marriage to Russell Brand together. There’s one bit in particular when she’s all glammed up in a ridiculous outfit, ready to go on stage and she can’t stop crying. It’s really disturbing to see the cartoon pop princess openly sobbing right before she has to perform in front of a hojillion people. I was super-prepared to have to sit through 90 minutes of corporate sparkly guff. That I was not expecting. Perry’s roots are quite interesting too, having been raised in a strict Christian house with her dad being a preacher. We see her early music career falter due to labels trying to make her the new Alanis Morissette or the next Avril Lavigne.
There’s not too much else to say about it, really. Most of it is just performances of Perry’s famous singles and a few crappy album tracks. The performances themselves are colourful and extravagant as one would expect. It’s a genuinely lovely thing to see young fans of hers light up with wonder as fireworks go off or Perry changes into another outfit in the blink of an eye. As with most things of this ilk, the film really has a focus on making it “all about the fans”, presumably so that they’ll buy more shit. The fans are interesting. They range from young girls with braces to “wacky” mums. It must be said that her male fans are the campest bunch around. There’s only one exception during one of her songs where the camera cuts to a female teen and a typical jock vest-wearing douche, complete with barbed wire tattoo, both belting out lyrics like you wouldn’t believe. I had to pause the film due to laughter. I don’t understand why her fans cry though. It’s a phenomenon I’ve never understood- screaming and crying for your favourite celebrity. Is it just a huge outpouring of emotion? If I was famous, I’d be really freaked out by a huge gathering of screaming and sobbing teens. It’s akin to a nightmare I once had.
I actually enjoyed Part of Me. I’m not the target audience, but the songs were energetic and fun. It also contains a proper peek behind the glitzy curtain at Perry’s personal life and a level of honesty that I thought impossible in a production such as this. I bet you anything that Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never didn’t contain scenes of Bieber weeping. If it did, I’d torrent that shit so fast. Anyway, Part of Me ain’t great, but it’s not bad either. Now away with you before you realise you’ve spent a good couple of minutes reading a clueless fatso’s opinion on a glorified promotional item.