Feature

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Behind the scenes on a pop-music megatour

Directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (PG) 

This look at Katy Perry’s life on tour proves to be “a visually spectacular testimonial to her own indomitable determination,” said David Hiltbrand in The Philadelphia Inquirer. But unless you’re already a fan of the record-setting pop singer, you might walk away “feeling taken advantage of—like you just paid someone to talk about herself for two hours.” From a distance, Perry’s an interesting figure, said Karina Longworth in The Village Voice. A product of a strict Pentecostal upbringing, she now makes a living “selling a drag exaggeration of female sexuality” to prepubescent listeners. But instead of exploring any of the contradictions in her act, this movie devotes much of its backstage time to acolytes endlessly praising her. The one instance of genuine emotion comes when Perry realizes her marriage to comedian Russell Brand is beyond repair, said Genevieve Koski in the A.V. Club. About to go onstage, she “chokes back sobs as she struggles to plaster on a smile.” Then the show starts and her fans truly fortify her, providing a “legitimately poignant experience that’s worth more than all the film’s various platitudes combined.”

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