Title: Katy Perry: Part of Me
Directors: Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz
Well, Katy Perry may never have to go the Playboy route to earn some cash.
After being immersed in roughly 93 minutes of a concert/documentary titled Katy Perry: Part of Me, the pop sensation comes across as a genuine human being – who just so happens to be worshiped all over the world at the moment. Even though her dancing needs some work.
First off, there is no need to see catch this in 3D. And spare all of us the joke regarding the subject’s physical assets (heard enough old critics use that line). While the cameras do include substantial shots of Perry’s elaborate and vibrant stage show – a montage of arena gig clips from Los Angeles to Tokyo, the traditional 2D version will be more than sufficient.
Half the film takes place in the backstage area of said arenas, where fans will get to see snippets of the star’s, and her staff’s, daily life in preparing to perform in front of 14,000 fans. The documentary chronicles Perry’s 2011 California Dreams tour that lasted up to a full year. During this time, you will see the rigors of touring, how it affected her blink-of-an-eye marriage with comedian/actor Russell Brand (who appears a few times in the footage), and get treated to about an album’s worth of live performances.
The other portions are comprised of the the typical flashback videos of Perry’s childhood, her struggle coming-up in Los Angeles to get a record deal – which is the most revealing aspect to this, and testimonials from her parents, friends, and present day fans (there are a lot of those); all of which fill in the gaps and assist in telling the bullet-point story.
Even though Katy Perry herself reflects back on what the film footage is showing, the filmmakers strategically choose songs – performed live – whose lyrics do most of the talking. And while that is creative and the thing to do these days (i.e. Justin Bieber’s concert/doc), this barely goes skin-deep and probably won’t surprise anyone, save for the young Perry loyal. Then again, the title does state, “Part of Me”; not all.
Despite having mechanical flaws, the one element that easily wins you over, is the honesty. Some people will be going just to hear the tunes; others will want to peek behind the fantastical curtain (which you get) the twenty-something pop-star has created; and then there’s the contingent who just want to see the sex-symbol all the tabloids want her to be. What you should be going for is to see someone who is passionate, talented, and flawed. She has the world at her fingertips yet she’s not afraid to let you know that she doesn’t have it figured out. Perry’s candor becomes the most fascinating aspect of this, even though the piecing together of this feature seems more like a general outline or cliffs notes.
As the story catches up with her present day career in the footage, there isn’t a whole lot left to say. So the film falls back on showing more meet-n-greets, a highlight reel of Perry’s achievements, and of course, more live performances. But again, it’s billed as only a “Part” of her.
Overall, Katy Perry: Part of Me is blessed with having an interesting and legit subject matter. The technical elements and delivery are average, and at times, suspect (a little too cheerleading); yet the charismatic personality instantly pulls you into her world and you’ll definitely want to hang around and explore. And since this guy was hearing many of her songs for the first time, the girl has a thought. Let’s just hope she isn’t a manufactured product like the Biebs.