Seriously?! Seriously!? Are you seriously going to write a post about Katy Perry: Part of Me? Well, yes. If only to show that not all the films I watch are worthy of attention. Some clearly are utter dross.
In one of those mad moments, I decided to watch Katy Perry: Part of Me. It would be really simple to say “well, there’s 93 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”, or “that film was so dire I actually wanted to eat the iPad I watched it on”, but that wouldn’t tell the whole story.
In Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, there is a scene when Vitaly the tiger finds his confidence again, and opens the new production of the ‘animal only’ circus. What follows is a fabulous display of lights and acrobatics from the animals set to Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’. The sentiment behind this song is ace – you have something great inside you and you should let it shine out. All good so far. As we like this song at home (we have a 3 year old – we like singing – we like Madagascar – bear with me), I thought I’d find out a bit more about Katy Perry, so watching her documentary on the train to Livingston one day seemed like a good way to deal with the tedium of train travel. On reflection, perhaps train travel isn’t so bad. Normally, train travel doesn’t make me want to eat the iPad.
I’m undecided about Katy Perry. She seems to have at heart a great simple idea: be yourself. Unfortunately, much of the time watching this documentary, I’m not sure she knows exactly what this is. There is a scene when she visits her grandmother. You’re left wondering if they have ever actually met before. She places great faith in her wardrobe designer, who seems to make creations for her that are individual, but I’m left thinking these creations only serve the purpose of trying to be individual, rather than anything else. She seems to be genuinely interested in her fans, and encourages them to express themselves, but to what end? I’m not sure the guy dressed as a hotdog will look back at his on-stage moment with Katy Perry with pride, or maybe I’m wrong? She also seems to have musical talent, and a good ear for a tune, that and the might of a record label and production company getting successive songs to number 1. Like her or hate her, you can’t deny that she’s successful.
The documentary follows her during a gruelling tour, which it captures quite well. You do get to see her genuinely struggling with the monotony to touring, and the difficulty of overcoming her own feelings in order to perform. This is painfully painted on her face as she waits in the wings to go on stage at one point. It also charts the breakup of her marriage to Russell Brand, but you’re left thinking there’s obviously a great deal that they glossed over – in fact, ‘gloss’ probably sums up this movie exceptionally well.
Why on earth did I choose to write a blog post about it then? Hidden in amongst the bubblegum dross of Katy’s life on tour was a gem of a quote from one of her fans:
“Katy teaches me to be myself: Everyone else is already taken”
Of course the learned amongst you (or those of you who know how to copy and paste into a search engine) knows this to be a quote from Oscar Wilde. Tragically, neither Katy Perry, her fan filmed giving the quote, or indeed her producer thought to reference it. Shame.
In our quick fix culture, Wilde’s sentiment is welcome relief. Media bombards us each day to conform to the latest ‘must have’ or fashion, so having the confidence to do your own thing is sound advice indeed.
Image credit: natalia love.
footnote: normal service (or decent choice in films to talk about) will be restored next week…