Not to be outdone by tween sensation Justin Bieber, bubblegum pop star Katy Perry brings to the big screen her life (on- and off-stage) in this slickly entertaining biopic, which manages to inject a little spice amongst the gratuitous amount of sugar on display.
Following the California Gurls songstress as she embarks on a huge world tour (and the thrills and unforeseeable heartache which accompanies her), Katy Perry: Part of Me is as fluffy as one of the giant marshmallows props she shares the stage with during her concert routines (think Madonna meets Willy Wonka), but it doesn’t stop the film from being an enjoyable glimpse into the world of a global music megastar in the Twitter age.
It’s interesting to note that while Perry may ostensibly appear to be just another example of a brand identity forged in the fires of a cynical record company, her ascent to the top was hardly an overnight phenomenon.
Raised in a overly strict travelling Christian family (her preacher father now bears an unfortunate resemblance to Gary Glitter, sans wig), her move from gospel-inspired soft rock (all captured via the obligatory cringe-worthy video footage) to credible artist came about after discovering Alanis Morissette’s brand of Gen X angst. Further battles and near misses followed before her fond admission to kissing a member of the same sex thrust her into the stratosphere.
While this is hardly some kind of hard-hitting exposé of the artist, it represents an interesting trajectory which is given further bite by capturing her marriage breakdown to Russell Brand. He appears fleetingly, although he hasn’t been whitewashed completely, as it’s obvious that the tour played a large part in the disintegration of Perry’s relationship with him. The split and ultimate divorce offers an emotional arc which the makers must have been secretly delighted with. However much she embellishes things for the camera (although it does look fairly genuine), it’s pretty fascinating to see her at her lowest ebb, literally minutes before she has to take the stage as a performer in front of the huge, elated crowd in San Paulo.
In the 3D format, the concert footage is impressive and her colourful, theatrical stage antics can’t help but bring a smile to your face. One indelible image sees a kid with a huge pink brace contraption on, clearly having the time of her life and it offers a nice reminder of the joyous simplicity pop music can bring.
The film knows its market inside out and fans of the singer will undoubtedly gobble this up. As for those parents out there who find themselves being dragged along – you may be surprised to find yourselves enjoying what’s on offer.