Katy Perry provides fans with a fly on the wall look at her ‘California Dreams’ World Tour, but she’s willing to give you a piece of her heart as well…
Whilst not arriving with the high-pitched tween gravitas of fellow 3D concert film debutant, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry’s Part Of Me is very much the successor to the throne in this often derided genre.
Documenting the year of her worldwide California Dreams tour in support of her sophomore release, Teenage Dream, Part Of Me initially paints Perry as the little popstar that could, from her strict Pentecostal Christian family upbringing, through to the rebellious young thing traipsing early ‘00s Los Angeles in search of the pop limelight. We learn through interlaced interviews with those close to her (friends, management, family, sylist) that Perry always had the goods required, but needed the right fit to make it all work. Having been dropped three times on her path to her eventual home at Capitol Records, hers is no overnight success story. Early demos and videos develop Katy Perry the person and artist, and less the candy-coloured persona whom we are accustomed to.
The heart of the film lies in watching Perry take on the weight of the world of Megapopstardom™ whilst boldly attempting to balance a new marriage to British Bad Boy comedian, Russel Brand. Early scenes with Brand establish the light and love once shared by the couple, and Perry clearly burns the candle at both ends to satisfy fans and spend quality time with her paramour.
Rather than painting Brand in a negative light, nor giving Katy a free pass to come out looking unaffected, the cameras stick with Perry in the aftermath of the demise of the relationship and here is where the film takes the viewer by surprise. Emotion is raw and uncompromising and is a credit to Katy for having the courage to bare an element most pop stars could never contemplate exhibiting to a paying public. Scenes preluding her Brazilian concert (the largest crowd at a single show) are a powerful insight to the adage ‘the show must go on’ and provide the film with a centrepiece that will be much talked about by those who view it.
Perry’s concert footage is interplayed throughout and in the three-dimensional format the colour, light and pop of the show truly shine. Perry pleases her fans and is truly thankful for her place in the pop world, but the real surprise is the level of soul-bearing emotion on display, which is dignified, yet raw.
Whilst truly a project for fans of Perry (who will lap this up), Part Of Me is essential viewing for anyone interested in the culture of pop music celebrity.