Take a ride in Katy Perry land
MANILA, Philippines - Minutes before she is due onstage in São Paulo, Brazil, Katy Perry is having an emotional breakdown.
Her marriage with comedian Russell Brand is falling apart, and she is bawling her eyes out in her dressing room.
Her entourage is helpless, attempting cursory but ultimately hollow words of encouragement.
Her manager Bradford Cobb tells her, “You have two options: you can cancel the show. Or you can do your best.”
Katy pulls herself together and instructs her make-up artist, “Start.”
By the time she faces the crowd, which the film says is the biggest in the entire tour, she is all smiles and ready to perform.
With no idea of what went on behind the scenes, the crowd goes wild.
The scene is one of the more poignant and emotionally-charged in the concert film “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D.”
It is a surprising break from the loud, candy-colored, ponies-and-rainbows world that the entertainer inhabits.
The platinum-selling singer, songwriter and actress follows in the footsteps of pop stars like Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber who have crossed over from making records into making films, although the films they make is essentially about their music careers.
“Part of Me 3D” provides an emotional and entertaining glimpse into the life of one of today’s biggest female music figures.
“Part of Me” — also the title of one of her songs — traces the journey and metamorphosis of pastor’s daughter Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson into pop music superstar Katy Perry.
While there are divergent tracks to the artist’s story, the film largely takes place during her California Dreams World Tour to promote her second major studio album, Teenage Dream.
There are interviews with her parents, older sister Angela and younger brother David, her management team, label officials, friends and Katy herself.
It paints a portrait of the doe-eyed singer who, as a kid, had a dream of being up onstage and becoming a performer and how, through sheer talent and tenacity, she made that dream come true.
When Katy burst into the music scene in 2008 with her album One of The Boys (led by the controversial but unbelievably catchy single “I Kissed A Girl”) there were people who raised their eyebrows and thumbed their noses down, believing her to be the latest product of the hype machine and an army of image stylists.
What they never realized however, is how much Katy has had to fight numerous setbacks and rejections before she finally hit the big time.
She talks about how much of an influence Alanis Morissette and her song “You Oughta Know” has had on her and how she turned up at the door of producer Glen Ballard (responsible for Morissette’s unforgettable album Jagged Little Pill) to beg for a chance to work with him.
The film possesses the basic elements of traditional cinema — exposition (tracing her roots), interesting lead and supporting characters (quirky and supportive family members and cohorts), conflict (her struggle for mainstream success), drama and climax (her issues with and eventual split from her husband), and resolution (she’s doing fine now).
Footage of songs from her concerts are spliced in between and if you’ve ever been to a Katy Perry show, you know she’s the complete opposite of barebones minimalism.
There are pink clouds, blue wigs, red costumes and one very big purple kitty named Kitty Purry.
While this could have also worked in regular, 2D format, her shows take on an immersive, larger-than-life experience in 3D.
You can see how Katy dotes on her grandmother, how they choose fans to appear onstage with in her shows and exactly how involved she is in the production of her concerts.
The film presents many other aspects of Katy Perry’s life that loyal fans can appreciate, but ultimately, it is a celebration of her life in music.
The 27-year-old may be one of the biggest pop stars in the planet today, but the film humanizes her in ways that no hour-long, face-to-face interview can capture.
Despite the episodes of sadness, you can’t help but get swept up in all the positivity, the joy and the craziness of Katy Perry-land.
For sure, there are those who don’t call themselves fans of her brand of sometimes kooky, sometimes serious blend of sugarcoated, unapologetic pop music, and no one will blame them if they stay away from “Part Of Me 3D.”
But everyone else who might have even the faintest appreciation of her oeuvre — from “Hot ‘N Cold” to “Last Friday Night,” from “California Gurls” to “The One that Got Away” — and who go and see this film will find that Katy Perry is as likeable and as fun-loving as they imagine her to be.
They may even find themselves humming along to “Firework” as they leave the theater. - Rappler.com
Paul John Caña is the managing editor of Lifestyle Asia magazine and is a live music geek. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @pauljohncana