Saturday, 23 February 2013

Katy Perry: Part Of Me (2012)

Oh dear.

If anyone actually believed for a moment that I was a huge film fan who sometimes knew what he was talking about then that's all about to disappear right now. Why? Because I really enjoyed Katy Perry: Part Of Me.

Mixing some concert footage with a lot of behind the scenes moments, this charts the hard work and many setbacks that Perry endured on the road to becoming "an overnight success". Set during her massive 2011 world tour, it shows her phenomenal success in the music world while also capturing the end of her marriage to Russell Brand - a situation that obviously causes her a lot of pain and tears, but is put aside when she lines herself up to get on stage. Ever the professional, Perry goes from being wracked with tears backstage to gripping the mike and making sure she has a big smile on as she prepares to entertain her latest crowd of fans.

If you don't like Katy Perry then you're unlikely to enjoy this, but I wouldn't rule it out completely. She may be a pop star who appeals to the teen demographic and she may have a cutesy, quirky style that some find offputting, but this movie shows that she also has a level head on her shoulders and a determination to succeed and give 150% in everything she does.

You might have already gathered that I'm already a big fan of the woman and you may be wondering why. I am, after all, not in her main demographic. First, she's very attractive, in my opinion, and I'll continue to hold that opinion, despite some other people who argue against it, despite the fact that she never returns my calls and despite the fact that I have to abide by that restraining order, dammit. Moving swiftly on, I actually like most of her songs. She's not the greatest songstress of her, or any other, generation, but she writes some good stuff and she writes some damn catchy stuff. She also seems to have a good sense of humour, which is another major plus point, and is always full of positive energy. Then there's the fact that she remains impressively individual in an industry known for homogenising and compartmentalising everyone and she makes it seem so effortless.

There are a million Lady Gaga fans who would read this and throw a hissy fit, wondering why I am praising Perry with comments usually attributed to their idol. I hate Lady Gaga, really can't stand her. I have a running joke with my young daughter where I pretend to be an out of touch old fart and ask her questions like "well, are you still listening to that Lady Goo Goo?" It's just a silly thing that makes me sound as old as I am, but it also allows me to not give her any recognition whatsoever. I'm not completely unaware of the positive influence that Lady Gaga has on her fans, but she makes it all seem like a daily battle against everyone else in the world whereas Katy Perry promotes the same message of individuality and positivity while also managing to smile and not just run through the bag of tricks that Madonna already used up over a decade ago.

Anyway, all of this has been a pathetic attempt to defend my enjoyment of this film. I'll watch some stuff like this with a smile and the knowledge that I'm enjoying it even while it could never be classed as something good (yep, Spiceworld: The Movie comes into that category), but watching Katy Perry move from her childhood under the parentage of two Christian pastors to her globe-spanning position as one of the queens of pop is genuinely inspiring stuff, whether what you see on-screen is 100% open and honest or just carefully managed and manipulated excerpts from one hectic year.



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