Katy Perry is Ribbons, Rainbows + a Relationship Wreck in ‘Part of Me 3D’ Film
Katy Perry‘s concert film/documentary hybrid ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’ is not all ribbons and rainbows. While there are lots of confections, in the form of her candy-themed costumes and her cheery disposition, the cameras are still rolling when the ‘Wide Awake’ singer melts down sobbing in a fetal position, barely able to take the stage before thousands of fans in Brazil because her relationship with then-husband Russell Brand is a wreck. It’s those moments that make ‘Part of Me’ a “must see” film for Katy Cats.
Everyone wants to know just how much of Brand is in the film, and the answer is yes, he’s there — but mostly in early scenes backstage, hugging, kissing and supporting his wife while she is on a year-long tour in support of ‘Teenage Dream.’ Perry is clearly a woman in love, so much so that she actually schedules “relationship days” into her insanely busy itinerary, oftentimes flying back to the U.S. to be with her husband in the middle of the European leg of her tour. She is distraught when she finds out that she might not see her hubby for a period beyond two weeks. That’s unacceptable to her.
The cracks in the relationship’s armor begin to show as the film progresses and her fame grows, suggesting that the marriage caved under the weight of celebrity. Perry repeats that she is trying to make it work, addressing the camera to say, “I’m trying to keep my marriage alive.” There’s a hint of sarcasm there that doesn’t seem to indicate the downward spiral she and Brand were inevitably on.
It is intimated that Brand wanted children — he texts her and says they should name their offspring after Ronald McDonald — and she didn’t, as evidenced by her comment, “Babies can’t have babies and I’m still a baby.” It’s also suggested that it was Perry making the effort to see travel to see Brand and he didn’t reciprocate.
She breaks down when discussing him during interview portions, and it’s painfully obvious that she was devastated by the split, despite keeping a straight face in public.
That’s the “heavy” part of ‘Part of Me.’ The rest is a “scratch and claw your way to the top” feel-good story. We’ve all heard of Perry’s evangelical upbringing, but in the film, we see it, thanks to archival footage of her father Keith Hudson preaching mightily. We meet her sassy grandmother and get to know her sister Angela and her tough-as-nails assistant and her fabulous stylist, all of whom speak of her with love in their hearts. She inspires that.
The film’s cinematic license is obvious. Perry’s first PR rep at one of her former labels that dropped her explains how Perry was trapped since label brass didn’t know what to do with her but didn’t want to release her for fear she would go on to megastardom. This is presented with scenes of Perry performing ‘Who Am I Living For’ with ropes attached to her, practically drawing and quartering her. She was trapped and needed to break free. Perry is a woman who won’t be held down, by a possibly one-sided commitment or a record contract.
We’re not sure the film needed to be in 3D other than to give Perry a reason to dole out cute plastic glasses. We see her in so many dimensions thanks to the content. She shows just enough to make you feel like you know what’s going on.
The film pointedly positions Perry as a superstar and as a normal human being who battles the same demons as you or I do. It brings her down to her fan’s level yet never feels like a ploy to make her relatable when she isn’t. She’s not just ‘One of the Boys,’ like the title of her breakthrough records. She’s one of the girls (who has a tea party with girlfriends and cats in Japan), and while she may be wearing sugar-coated pants, she still puts ‘em on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
In the end, you’ll laugh, cry and always, always root for Perry.
Watch Katy Perry ‘Part of Me’ Clip