As album sales continue to slump worldwide, popstars are turning to concerts as the next lucrative revenue source. Madonna, U2 and Beyonce are some of the biggest earners in the arenas, but concerts are also notoriously known to be painstaking to plan and execute. Thus artistes now need to find an alternative entertainment platform to keep up their income, and the answer seems to be in the form of the documentary concert film.
Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Glee cast famously translated their crowd-pleasing music to the big-screen, while Michael Jackson's This Is It is a great posthumous example of the format.
Nevertheless, it is actually no surprise that singer-songwriter superstar Katy Perry is the next to follow suit. Slickly produced with the singer's unique blend of sweet girl-next-door demeanour and multi-coloured façade, the film is at times movingly insightful but mostly a dazzling concert experience to witness.
Right from the start, Perry makes it clear that the film is first and foremost a heartfelt thank you note and vehicle of inspiration to her followers, before it being a well-executed PR package.
The montage of videos of teenage fans voicing out what Perry's music means to them along with a particularly moving interaction with a Make-A-Wish Foundation kid allows the Teenage Dream singer to demonstrate her natural connection she shares with the people she influences. Although hidden under layers of doll-like make-up and outrageously psychedelic costumes, she still manages to let her goofy personality shine through.
The pacing of the film also breezes along with ease, as we follow Perry as she jet-sets between continents for her 2011 California Dreams Tour, squeezes in numerous flights to Europe to visit her then-husband, Russell Brand, and even had time to visit her grandma in an extremely adorable sequence.
The documentary never gets too serious about her light riff with her parents (they are staunch Christians and travelling pastors), although the inevitable episode surrounding her fateful divorce with Brand does come across a tad too dramatic and forced. This showcase of a 'fairytale life' honestly does not need any of the seemingly scripted moments because Perry seems the most genuine when she is speaking to the camera herself, and these are the moments where we get to see the real, loveable her.
But all the melodrama aside, fans should be delighted with the film's portrayal of the concert elements. Filmed with spirit and energy befitting of her songs, Perry's recorded concert performances burst to life on screen, and they are easily the reasons to catch the film in 3D. The directors also cleverly arrange the playlist in accordance to the narrative structure of the film, giving it a fuller, meaningful depiction.
Although this film arguably only shows a part of Perry's road to success, it is a brilliant celebration of her achievements amidst personal triumphs, and I'm sure one can't wait to see how her 'sequel' to her next chapter of her life will turn out.