Oh lord how I wanted to hate this.
I’m very not much part of the target demographic for Miss Perry’s music, nor by extension, the Popumentary that is Katy Perry: Part of Me. I like some of her music, but find her to be a bit grating, based off a handful of interviews I’ve seen with her.
I must also admit, she’s fallen victim to the perils of my judgement of singers by the customers who used to buy her when I worked in a record store – whole lotta dickheads out there love buying Katy Perry, and it’s unfair of me to judge her by their behaviour.
So beginning this movie, I expected to see a calculated exercise in PR, pandering solely to her tween-to-teenaged fans to reinforce their already feverish love of her. And it totally is, but it’s also something a bit more than that.
Perhaps I’ve been disarmed by the hypnotically gargantuan saucers she calls her eyes, but there’s something…dare I say it…likeable about her that makes what should’ve been an industry cash-in remarkably compelling – both housemates have joined me on the couch while watching it, all of us setting out to hate it at the start.
But likeable she is, and although you can also very much see the puppet strings on the film, manipulating you into agreeing with how likeable she is, the girl shines through somehow.
Perhaps it’s the work ethic. It’s actually more evident in the scenes where the movie isn’t trying to point out what a hard worker she is. Perhaps it’s the utter dedication to her fanbase that she puts as a priority. Or perhaps it’s those enormous Bambi eyes that give her a sense of vulnerability and fragility.
The movie touches on the dissolution of her relationship with Russel Brand, and it absolutely destroys her. Of course, these are the scenes with some of the most significant manipulation in editing to win the favour of her naysayers, but nay though I did say, I still wanted to give her a hug.
The movie does gloss over a lot – it’s certainly bringing you the highlights of her rise to fame in the easy-to-swallow marketing pill way, and I’m sure there’s tantrums and tension galore on the cutting room floor, but it’s undeniable that she has a certain star quality about her, which is most evident when she’s off the stage.
I promise you, I wanted to hate this. I wanted to retain some credibility, but she’s actually a much more interesting person than her music would have you believe. Or, at the very least, this film makes you believe that, and it does it exceedingly well.
It’s manipulative, it’s pandering, it’s preaching to the choir, but despite all that, it seems like it’s a genuine look into the life of Katy Perry, and what it takes to be her.