I watched Katy Perry's film Part of Me 3D… and I liked it!
00:32 GMT, 6 July 2012
KATY PERRY: PART OF ME 3D (PG)
Verdict: Perry creates a Brand
A star is born: Singer Katy Perry in her new film Part of Me
This critic has stoically survived 3D concert films from Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers and even the entire cast of Glee, but I much preferred this account of Katy Perry’s 2011 tour, California Dreams.
Having hit the big time with her breakthrough single I Kissed A Girl (And I Liked It), the tour helped her achieve five No 1 singles off the same album (the same as Michael Jackson’s Thriller) and grossed 40 million worldwide.
Some hackles may rise at the sight of the pop princess’s fans hailing her arrival as only slightly less significant than the Second Coming.
The agenda of the film is to market the Perry brand. Everything is ‘on message’ and approved by the star — yet it’s as intimate as this kind of film gets.
Anyone who has not experienced Perry on stage should rapidly warm to this candy-coloured creature. The most interesting aspect of her upbringing is that it was sternly religious.
Her parents are fundamentalist Christian preachers who banned pop music, along with such pernicious influences as Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard Of Oz.
Since Perry’s act contains references to both, you could see her career as an over-reaction to her parents. As she skips out on stage for the first night of the tour, she declares: ‘This moment is my childhood dream come true!’
One of her youngest fans asks her incredulously if she’s really 27. It’s a good question, since in performance she comes across as 17.
I’d have liked to see some acknowledgement that she’s not entirely original — she’s heavily influenced by Madonna and once went so far as to call herself ‘the skinny Lily Allen’.
It might also have been interesting to see her, her stylist and her choreographer planning the show and rehearsing it, but she gives the impression all these things come about through the will of one person. That’s her, by the way.
The film shows that, having come up the hard way in pop — she started recording at 15 with a gospel album — she has developed into a canny marketer of her own brand.
Like Madonna, she’s adept at manipulating her image, and her success can be seen in the bond she creates with a mostly female audience ten to 15 years her junior.
Scroll down to watch the trailer
Making dreams come true: Katy Perry with two young besotted fans
Emotional: Katy wanted fans to see every side of her in the moving documentary
The film is unsurprisingly reticent about the reasons her marriage to British comedian Russell Brand tanked.
One clue may be the way she reduces her ex-husband to a peripheral figure.
He crops up to say: ‘Hi, sausage!’ and loses interest when she becomes the centre of attention. Perry’s entourage point out that though she took time off during her arduous tour to see him, he did not do the same for her.
But mostly the film is dedicated to making Perry fans feel fabulous. Not only is it a chance to experience a concert without bubblegum ruining your trainers, it’s a backstage pass.
Her message may not be as religious as her parents might wish. It’s to be persistent and follow your dream, which is good advice, I guess, unless you happen to be Adolf Hitler.
Even though I’m the wrong age and sex, I enjoyed the camp production numbers and liked the leading lady. There’s an attractive self-mockery that few stars have, and some intelligence shining behind those china-doll blue eyes.
Hysterical: Katy is seen doubling over as she sobs backstage on her California Dreams tour in the film
Ever the professional: Despite her personal turmoil, Katy knew the show must go on
I’m not sure her songs will stand the test of time or that she’ll still be touring in her 70s, but it’s easy to see why she’s a star.
The most memorable scene comes when, moments before she goes on stage in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she finally realises her marriage is over.
Racked with tears and crumpled up without make-up, she suffers an emotional breakdown.
It’s obviously genuine, and the members of her entourage — even her older sister — are helpless.
The moment Perry changes from that heartbroken girl, slumped in despair, into a pop diva — assuming a dazzling smile as she rises through a trapdoor with spinning propellers on her boobs — is one of the most stirring cinematic moments of the year, a living if preposterous embodiment of the adage ‘the show must go on’.
A few songs later, the audience starts chanting ‘We love you, Katy’ in Portuguese, and she’s moved to tears. Fans’ love may not be true love, but it can feel like the real thing. After this, you can’t help but wish her the best.
Now watch the trailer