Home Arts Rich in fan-worthy goodies, lacks so much in substance

Rich in fan-worthy goodies, lacks so much in substance

by Saturn De Los Angeles January 14, 2014
Rich in fan-worthy goodies, lacks so much in substance

Bieber: known to be a famed Canadian export alongside Celine Dion, poutine and Rob Ford. He’s the youthful Internet-sensation turned colossal overnight pop-star.

Press photo

Bieber: a powerful force within the social media spectrum, and the pop-star who can’t seem to take a break from all of the online hate, or jealousy, or mob of fans out there viciously wanting to have a piece of him, literally and metaphorically.

Bieber: the once naive young singer from Stratford, infamous for his notorious but dangerously catchy lyrics of  “Oh Baby, baby, baby, ohhhhh…”

Singing along? Gotcha. But this isn’t a karaoke piece.

After all of the countless flops, from riding the Great Wall on a scooter to allegedly harassing his fans, to announcing that he would retire from public life, our little home-grown sweetheart brings us a documentary film which seems to show his good side — and that’s about it. The 90-minute film is called Believe.

The film kicks off with a candid moment of him playing a piano while he talks to people around him. The scene suddenly transitions to random footage of him performing on stage in front his many fans.

Moments later, you see him explaining on camera why he feels judged by many people, and why they should give him a chance. Then you add in a multitude of testimonials from famous contemporary pop artists in the American music business, and an unlimited number of streeter interviews from mostly teenage fans lining up to see one of his concerts. Stitch them all together like a worn-out patchwork quilt, and voila, there’s your documentary.

I wouldn’t really mind this kind of presentation, but chronologically speaking, it was all over the place. What makes this film really uncomfortable to watch is how it feels more like a public relations piece instead of a factual piece of intimate storytelling. When I think of music-related documentaries such as Michael Jackson’s This Is It, or Jukka Kärkkäinen’s The Punk Syndrome, I find an actual narrative of human beings — not musicians — talking about why they do music, how they’re passionate about music, and why music is important to them.

As a music fan, I acknowledge and respect people’s passion and enthusiasm for any artist they like. If you’re a Belieber, this is absolutely a resourceful audiovisual material to indulge in. But if you were hoping to see a candid conversation about an artist and the music that he makes, you will be left very disappointed.

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