Saturday, September 01, 2012

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Cool Cat

Katy Perry is set to headline one of the acts during this month's Singapore Formula One Grand Prix week, but so much has changed in her life since her last visit some two years ago, where she held court during her press conference at Marina Bay Sands' rooftop pool, and cajoled the media into entering the infinity pool with her. Since then, so much has changed, with her embarking on a world tour, getting married to British comedian Russell Brand, followed by separation and divorce, and then there's this film.

Katy Perry: Part of Me follows the documentary style that's somewhat established by the filmmakers of Justin Bieber's Never Say Never, which was screened last year, where the structure intersperses her live concert numbers with the documentary moments that see the usual talking head interviews with friends, family and fans, capturing the flavour and fervour that is all things surrounding this pop princess, who had sealed the real deal for herself through her albums, given that she has tremendous talent in writing her own songs drawn from so many things she wishes to express, appealing to her teenage demographic for various inspirational messages underlying her music, and that down to earthliness in her in wanting to genuinely connect with her fans, coupled with that sunshine, always smiling persona that's really appealing.

I have to admit I do listen to some of her songs when they're played over the airwaves, and know little about the singer, other than her very kooky persona that thankfully didn't border too close to the more eccentric Lady Gaga. Part of Me the film provides a sneak peek into the day into the life of a current pop star, and the efforts she had put into building her career and lifting herself from obscurity, riding on the explosion of her popularity, yet keeping everything grounded in not forgetting the people who had put her there, from her production team, fans, and family. Or pulling along those who are in the same boat as her, in starting out, and getting them under her fold to help develop their careers at the same time. These are qualities rarely seen.

Fans will already know of her gospel singing background and beginnings, being the daughter of travelling preachers, which makes it a almost like a natural progression to serve in the church and singing gospel songs. And from there, after a stint in Los Angeles that's really heading nowhere, fate played a part in getting the right doors opened for her, and through her very positive personality, charted history.

Thie film chronicles her juggling of her year long world tour in 2011, the first the singer ever embarked on, providing us a look at the preparation, venues, and basically how things move like clockwork from point to point. It's a fairy tale like setting during her concert, and this pop princess holds court in bringing her audiences and fans into a make believe world filled with pastel colours, and larger than life sets, coupled with fun, Katy Perry style.

And those who may have thought that she was a tad impulsive with her marriage, would do themselves a favour in seeing the effort she puts in to jet set from place to place just to spend quality time with Brand. The documentary doesn't shy away from exploring what actually happened, and how it affected her during the tour, albeit more behind the scenes. What I felt was besides the distance, perhaps a little bit of a professional jealousy and envy also got into play, with one clearly the more popular than the other, which may have ruffled some bruised egos without her knowing.

Ever the consummate professional, you can sense her pain as she decided to soldier on, not wanting to let the thousands of fans down at each venue. There was a scene that was quite poignant, where she was breaking down backstage, but at the moment she has to go on, off goes the tears, and in comes the smile. It's not easy and some may be quick to say it's hypocritical, but having done so, it's not to disappoint her fans who are present for a good time, and you can imagine the pain in making others happy, while crying alone inside.

The more famous songs of hers get full air play and concert treatment, so it will appeal to fans, and non fans who would probably have heard the song somewhere else. After watching this, I've new found respect for the singer, and is just a tad tempted to get tickets to watch her perform in Singapore live in a few weeks time. Recommended!

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