If you don’t know the basics of what makes Beyonce…well, Beyonce, then you may have found yourself a little lost while watching her HBO documentary,Â Life is But a Dream last night. Â Her directorial debut was better than I expected and left me wanting more. Â But not necessarily in a good way. Â Then again, that might have been her intention.
“The harder my father pushed, the stronger I became.”
Each chapter of her life was marked by a musical performance of some kind, a few real-time clips of whatever was going on at that point in time, followed by Beyonce sitting on a couch and analyzing each of those chapters to a nameless, faceless interviewer. Â To be honest, the least interesting parts of the documentary were the parts where she was singing, with the exception of a clip of her singing a song she wrote immediately after her miscarriage, which was heart-wrenching. Â Needless to say she is a phenomenal performer and one of the best entertainers out there right now. Â She busts her ass and belts her heart out and gives 100% because she knows that she owes it to her fans, and her documentary shows that.
“People don’t listen to albums anymore. Â People don’t listen to an entire body of work anymore.”
What she doesn’t owe us, however, is her life. Â Which is why I kind of understand the reasoning behindÂ Life is But a Dream‘s fleeting glimpses into some of the most defining moments of her life. Â I can only imagine that while she wants people to know her a little better — the make-up free Beyonce who talks to her computer as a form of therapy, not her on-stage alter ego — she has every right to keep her most personal, sacred moments to herself.
“Sometimes I want to stop pretending I have it all together.”
That being said, I would have liked a little more. It kind of ceases being a documentary when it’s not so much documenting actual events, but more just playing out like a video scrapbook instead. Â There were bits and pieces everywhere, but if you didn’t know the story before you opened the book, you might not have known how to piece it together. Â Jay-Z didn’t have much of a speaking role, although there is no denying that those two are dangerously in lurve… see what I did there? They’re adorable together, and their love is a lot deeper than you’d expect two such famous people to have. Â Especially in such a narcissistic business.
Whatever her process was going into this documentary, there were definitely things about it that worked. Â It humanized her. Â It made me feel guilty for ever thinking she might have hired a surrogate, and even though she probably should have been enraged that so many people talked shit on her for it for such a long time, she kind of understood:
“It’s crazy to me. Â But there are some crazy celebrities out there, so I guess they give us a bad rap.” Â
She’s absolutely right. I wouldn’t have this job if I didn’t find the lives of celebrities fascinating. Â But what I wish (most) of the Hollywood crowd realized and accepted is that we’re so desensitized to celebrities because they try so hard to make their lives seem a certain way solely for our benefit. Â It’s push-and-pull that way.
There was no stand-out moment, no big reveal of a major life event we didn’t already have a clue about. Â But there were plenty of real and interesting moments that madeÂ Life is But a DreamÂ worth tuning in for: her strong feelings on equality for women, for instance. Your opinion of her might change after watching, or it might not. Â Either way, there’s something to be said for a beautiful woman who keeps your attention for an hour and half with her words.
(Lead Photo: WENN)