I don’t really consider myself a Katy Perry fan. Sure, I catch myself sheepishly singing along to her latest song on the radio just like everyone else, but overall her music is almost annoyingly pop-y. But to be honest, I was one of the millions of people that had a misconception about the pop star and thought she was an overnight sensation created by a record company to sell albums and distribute catchy pop songs to the masses. After sitting down to watch KATY PERRY: PART OF ME, I gained a newfound respect for Ms. Perry and her music, even if I still won’t play one of her albums with the windows down.
We’ve been bombarded with concert documentaries over the years, with every flash in the pan pre-teen band getting their own movie from the Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber. I find most of them are excruciatingly painful to sit through because not only are they filled with horrendous music, but they’re so light and fluffy that they make zero impression. I expected more of the same from PART OF ME because the stuff we wanted to know about, such as her struggle with her religious upbringing and her failed marriage to Russell Brand, surely wouldn’t be included in a propaganda film made to sell records.
But that’s what I liked most about the film; it’s actually a pretty honest look at Katy Perry, who spends most of the film without makeup and talks candidly about her parents and ex-husband. We see her at some of her more vulnerable moments and it’s in those scenes where she’s just waking up in the morning or crying from exhaustion that we begin to realize she’s actually a real person and not the quirky cotton candy loving girl she’s sometimes made out to be. In fact, after hearing some of her time before the release of her ‘One of the Boys’ album, she sounded more like Alanis Morissette and had more gritty, sophisticated songs. Granted, those songs didn’t sell, but I liked peeking into that side of Katy Perry, which painted her more of an artist than what she comes off as today.
That said, the film is careful not to dive too deep. She addresses her parents’ strict Pentecostal Church beliefs head on, but we don’t see just how much it impacted her psyche or her desire to move to Los Angeles at the age of 17. They discuss her early struggles in the music business, but it clearly felt like details were left out on purpose. We’ve heard too many stories of innocent farm-girls moving to LA to not believe her life was harder than what she let on. There’s also the Russell Brand issue and in the course of the tour, her marriage starts to unravel and ultimately, they get divorced. They talk about it, but when questioned, she’s very careful with her words and never really tells us what happened. But the fact that we see her react to his texts and cry when she finds a necklace he gave her is more revealing than almost any concert documentary I’ve seen.
Fans of Katy Perry will absolutely go nuts for this film, but there’s enough in here to please non-fans all the same. I’m not going to rush out and buy all her albums, but I enjoyed this concert film and maybe the next time one of her songs come on the radio, I won’t be so quick to change the station.
Video: Like her or hate her, Katy Perry’s stage sets are beautiful to look at. The colors pop on this Blu-ray and all the cotton-candy-colored sets look wonderful.
Audio: You haven’t lived until you’ve heard ‘I Kissed a Girl’ in lossless audio. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much, but the audio is fantastic.
“Last Friday Night” Full Concert Performance (4:17): Just what it sounds like, the concert performance of “Last Friday Night”.
“Waking Up in Vegas” Full Concert Performance(4:25): Another full concert performance. Katy Perry appears to put on one fun and prop filled concert.
Grandma: “Thinking of You” (): This is a bit of a longer cut of when Katy Perry visits her grandma in Vegas. That’s one sassy grandma, guess we know where the granddaughter gets it from.
The Grammys You’ll Never Take Away From Me(5:19): A little blurb about Katy preparing to perform at the 2012 Grammy’s. Some behind-the-scenes footage though we don’t actually get to see the actual performance which was a bit of a bummer.
California Dreams Tour: Behind the Scenes (19:17): This is broken down into six parts and follows Katy Perry preparing the dance moves for her big songs, hanging out with her friends, getting a new tattoo, celebrating her manager’s birthday, her relationship with her fellow female singers as well as other celebrities singing her praise and how well her single “ET” did and some behind-the-scenes of the music video. These were pretty interesting to watch and I would recommend sitting through them if you enjoyed the full length feature.