Katy Perry: Part of Me is a biographical documentary following singer/ songwriter Katy Perry as she embarks upon her first concert tour. At its best it offers an interesting behind-the-scenes look at a rock-n-roll world; at its worst it avoids the nitty-gritty of the lifestyle it observes.
Unlike some packaged and primped rock stars, Katy Perry is a true talent deserving the fame she has garnered. Her singing is filled with grit and emotion, and many of the songs she writes are genuinely ingenious. She first caught the world’s attention with her simultaneously innocent and naughty “I Kissed a Girl,” and she has continued to produce pop songs that are catchy and original. She is the only person to have matched Michael Jackson’s record of five number one hits from a single album, and of course the only woman to have reached that milestone.
This film is as interesting for its contradictions as it is for the facts it presents. She is a songwriter of serious genius and depth, yet all that is strangely at odds with the candy-land persona she creates for her live shows. The movie hints that there may be a deeper, perhaps even a troubled side to Perry, but it is all glossed over like a candy-coated apple. For example, the contradictions between her upbringing as a preacher’s kid and her rock-n-roll lifestyle are only barely considered. Also, it is clear that the breakup with husband Russell Brand devastated her, but nothing concrete is revealed. The most gripping moment of the film comes when she struggles to put a proper smile on her face before a live show in Brazil.
This film is named after the song “Part of Me,” which refers to a part of her spirit that can never die. It may be an apt name as well in the sense that this film only reveals a small part of who Katy Parry really is. Hopefully, she will make another film sometime after she turns forty and has stripped away the silly persona. Right now, the talented Ms. Perry is too young and too new to fame to give this film the perspective and depth it deserves.
Spiritual Bottom Line: Provides some insight into the life of a celebrity, but fails to dig deep.
Quality Grade: B-