Friday, July 6, 2012

'Katy Perry: Part of Me' Review

"Thank you so much for believing in my weirdness."

She spells it out herself with that quote. People may think she is inappropriate and dresses in different clothing, and while she may at times; she isn't what those people would call a "prostitute." Kathryn Hudson is exactly what she says she is: "Weird," or at least her stage name, Katy Perry is. In all honesty, I like her and at sometimes I have said I adore her. Not because I think she is a sex symbol, but because of her work ethic. She is incredibly hard working and completely devoted to her fans, because she knows what pleases crowds. She does what is smart: Not putting her fame on her new celebrity friends, but on her fans. She pulls people that are dressed up on stage, she has special meetings with people backstage, and she is just a sweet and kind person who made it for herself when people in her life might have shunned her forever. The film focuses on her largest tour so far and shows how fun it is.

Katy grew up in a Pentecostal Christianity household; her mother and father both being pastors. They couldn't watch: The Smurfs, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, eat Lucky Charms or listen to Michael Jackson. The film almost lingers into psychotic territory, but stays clear and mainly points to strict parents. Here, you feel for her and almost can't imagine how a sweet, innocent, church girl became the biggest pop star of this generation. Well as Katy puts it, she felt she had no independent spirit. After singing in church choirs and a man boosted her self-esteem saying: "You're going to be a singer," she finally got a gospel record at the age of 15. After it being what they say a "failure," Katy turned 18 and packed her bags to go to Los Angeles, California. Where she can, for the first time in her life, experience everything she had ever wanted and she does. After 5 years of looking, she finally got another record label and it dropped her. After having enough, she walks up to record producer, Glen Ballard's house and sang him a song. He loved it and signed her.

She went on to work with "The Matrix" who had worked with Brittany Spears and Avril Lavigne. Everyone was telling her to be who she wasn't. "Be like Kelly Clarkson," they said, but she just wanted to be Katy Perry. Not doing anything with her, the record company wouldn't drop her; believing she would go somewhere else and be a star. She had no money; her car was pounded twice and had called up her 16 year old brother for money. Unfortunately, everyone was crushing her goals and ego. Finally, the company gave her 3 songs to choose from, she picked what would be her first #1 single, "I Kissed a Girl." Then it hit. She broke the record not even The Beatles could which was, having 5 #1 singles on one album. She became a star after that, working ever since, and falling in love with comedian actor, Russell Brand and recently divorcing him. She goes through so much in an almost 2 hour film, and it does well to show you enough to fall in love with her.

What I enjoyed most about this film is the underlying and hidden message: That you can't make everyone happy. Katy grew up with two pastor parents and they obviously wouldn't be okay with her career choice, but that's not only life, it's fact. You can't please everyone no matter how hard you try. Eventually, you will hurt someone you love, but to get through this life, you need to take those chances and sacrifices. She didn't lose her parents, even after making her sister tell them that she got her first #1 single and it was "I Kissed a Girl." They still love her and even if it is awkward, they can't deny she made it well. She still believes in God, but in a different way and describes it as a "different relationship." Sometimes you need to let your children go and make their own choices, even if they aren't what you want. It's a lesson for both children and adults that I think, is so well understood here. It's starting your life over and being born again that is so exhilarating. Not being cooped up in your mother's basement preparing your next preaching.

These are both first-time directors, (Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz) who had only done one T.V. documentary and what they both do really well, that can move the story in an artistic fashion is: Using Katy Perry's concerts as story-telling techniques. When they explain the height of her happiness, the concert will be filled with colors and her smiling, but when it is explaining her divorce it will get dark and at her fall, she will lower down as an almost cowering position. She met Russell Brand on the set of Get Him to the Greek (2010) and they fell in love quickly. They got married in late October, 2010 and with Katy's massive work schedule and not being able to see him unless getting on a plane to go across the globe for 3 days; after 14 months of marriage, they divorced. I give credit for showing Katy's emotions through that time; crying before shows, holding in her emotions and hiding them from everyone in her life. One scene, she cries on stage and it shows you everything, but she pulls through it and makes her show the best she can. She does anything and everything for her fans. What more could you really ask for?

Kathryn Hudson does what she can to make people smile and fill them with hope. She goes above and beyond to do her job and make her fans not only proud, but love and care for her. If I have any complaints it would be too many concert scenes and not enough of explaining her hardships through her 5 years of waiting to getting her first single. The film takes a lot of different inspirational angles and uses them well, but doesn't give one solid message to tell the fans. Which should have been: You can do anything you want to. It's the main point I think this kind of documentary should take and run with it. Besides that, I loved the heck out of this film and can't praise enough, how much fun it was. I have to give it **** out of *****. It's weird coming out of a film about Katy Perry, smiling and being happy. But it's quite an uplifting film that I think most can enjoy.

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