Before I get into the guts of this review, I firstly have to confess – I’m not actually a Katy Perry fan. But I do generally really like band/concert documentaries, so when this film appeared on my television screen out of nowhere I was intrigued enough to watch the whole thing. Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012) was filmed throughout apparently the toughest year of pop singer Katy Perry’s career – 2011, where she took part in a huge global tour and experienced extreme success, but also extreme lows as her marriage to outspoken comedian Russell Brand fell apart. This film documents that year, with an honest gaze on the highs and lows of the pop singer’s life.
Katy Perry: Part of Me firstly tells the story of how this charming young woman became a pop music sensation; from Katy’s beginnings in singing gospel music at church, to finding her own voice in LA away from her strict upbringing, to writing and singing and experimenting with different types of music to varying degrees of success. This life story is intertwined with the massive, global concert tour which is filled with glitter and whipped cream cannons and the craziest and most cartoonish costumes designed by the one and only Johnny Wujek. The key players in Katy’s experience are introduced and all get to tell their own story of working with one of the most famous singers of today’s pop music landscape.
Where this film really shines, though, is not necessarily through its showing of concert footage or telling the story of how Katheryn Hudson became Katy Perry, but in its showing of the impacts of such a massive tour, constant scrutiny, physical exertion and a marriage breakdown. The cumulative effects of these are almost heartbreaking to see. If you’re looking for celebrity gossip, don’t expect too much focus on the specifics of Perry’s relationship with Russell Brand, as the film is quite careful in terms of placing any sort of blame for their breakup. As aforementioned, I’m not really a fan, but the film certainly succeeds in making you feel hyped up for this enigmatic person and their colourful performances, and to see them at their lowest and saddest point was surprisingly emotional. Katy Perry: Part of Me gives a very honest, although at arms length, view of what exactly this experience is like for those in the public eye.
Long story short, I probably wouldn’t recommend specifically seeking this film out. But if it appears as if by magic on your television screen, like it did for me, you don’t necessarily have to change the channel. If you really dislike Katy Perry’s music then this may be a painful experience, but overall, when considering the film’s genuinely impactful musings on the low points of life as a global pop sensation, it’s probably worth sitting through some brief moments of auditory pain. A surprisingly watchable documentary.
Watch the trailer here.
Watch this film at Amazon!