Katy Perry: Part of Me (3D)
97 mins / Dir. Dan Cutforth / Jane Lipsitz
I ran a poll on Facebook, asking if I should go and see this film (more out of boredom and idle interest, as the only other movie opening this week at my local is Spider-Man, and I've already seen that). Out of all of my friends, the ones that exercised their legal and moral right to vote, opted for this…
…what a bunch of bastards those 14 people are. I'll wager a shiny guinea that not one - not one - cast their 'yes' vote without a wry, mirthless grin upon their visage.
Melissa Cann, Sophie Hughes, Claire Lisa Tadman, Diane Licitra Small, Gareth Jones, Stephen Short, Stacey Watkins, Gillian Humphreys, Adam Rolland, Andy James Ellis, Kris Mooney, Steve Rice, Graham Alderton, George Virtue… Thank you, I'll remember this.
Meanwhile, Emma Downie, Liz Brown, Louisa Gleghorn, Porle Miller, Alex Duigan, Douglas O'brien, Jeff Hunt… you didn't get what you voted for this time, but hey: That's democracy. I appreciate what you did, don't give up the fight.
So I trudged through the pissing rain on Friday afternoon to go and see Katy Perry: Part of Me, in 3D, no less. And I brought it all on myself.
…and on with the show:
A self-indulgent 97-minute advertisement for all that is going wrong in the music industry, presented with all the warmth and sincerity of an insurance seminar. We spend a year on-and-off in Katy's company as she tours the world, with handpicked interview clips from her trusted crew that she's worked with for several years now. At no point are you in any doubt that, despite their long and valued service, she would fire them the instant they say "no" to a single one of her demands.
Katy's views on feminism, religion and sexuality are all glossed over (yet still brought up, bizarrely) with a practised hand that comes from having a record company (and/or manager) telling you that you're not allowed to express an actual opinion on anything. I honestly don't know if I was more disgusted by her parents, (a couple of touring, preaching right-wing Christian ministers who campaigned for years against everything Katy has become, but are suddenly hunky-dory now that their daughter is an international sensation) for being coat-tailing hypocrites, or Katy herself, for not calling them out on their two-faced brown-nosing as they ride along on the tour-jet and refuse to have an opinion on "I Kissed a Girl", since it paid for their house.
All the while, Russell Brand lingers listlessly in the background, reduced in the edit to a cameo role only because to cut him out completely would rob the film of the ten-minute section in which Perry cries after their split, and is on the verge of cancelling an arena-show in a fit of child-like pique. But she doesn't cancel the show. Because she loves her fans, see? She fights back the tears and graces the stage with a superficial smile. Which, co-incidentally is indistinguishable from the one she uses when she's actually happy.
The 'documentary' only serves to underline that at one point, Katy Perry did indeed have personality, fire, determination and the ability to craft good songs, but all of these things are being willingly and systematically stripped away as she and the music she sells become more bland and soulless by the day. On her thirtieth birthday, Katy Perry is due to be replaced by a tin of beige paint with a music-box on top. No-one will notice until someone asks why the whining has stopped.
This film is like walking into Claire's Accessories and being assaulted by the staff and customers for an hour and a half.
And it only gets a 1 because of the PG-friendly eye-candy.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.