Justin Bieber's Believe review by Michelle Sommerville - Cinema Paradiso
Bieber-fever is alive and well among the pre-teen female population all over the world. Continuing from his musical success, and the success of his first documentary feature film, Justin Bieber once again graces the big screen. It definitely won’t be loved by everyone, or win any awards, but it’s worth the watch.
Believe is a documentary feature film that follows the life of Canadian teenage pop sensation Justin Bieber. We are taken behind the scenes, and granted access to the ‘real Justin’ the media can never quite portray. There are interviews - with family, friends, fellow pop artists, assistants, and the Biebs himself - all combining to make a film that follows on from where his first film Never Say Never (2011) left off. We find out about who the real Justin is, what is happening in his private life, and what might become of him in the future.
I’m not a Belieber, nor am I the first to chuck insults at the kid. I do find some of his songs to be quite catchy, and commend him for his religious commitment, but I don’t ever see myself wanting to attend one of his concerts. I did, however, like this film. I had seen the first one on TV, and thought I’d give this one a go too. The thing that makes it most likable, is that it’s for the fans. I remember wanting to get all of my favourite fan merchandise when I was younger, so I know how special it is to get these and behind the scenes extras. These celebrities are only where they are because of their fans, and it’s good for them to include them in the entire process. Believe asks the questions a lot of people want to know, and continue to show the child beneath the star.
Another reason I liked it was because of how well it was handled. Prior to release, Bieber had already begun a personal downward spiral, and while this film was obviously trying to reconnect fans to Justin’s ‘good guy’ image, they also asked some harder questions.
As can be expected, this film has received mixed reviews. The hordes of screaming fans have all given the film a big thumb’s up, while the negative reviews have been more focused on the parts that weren’t in the film. These reviewers wanted more in-depth questions, revealing more of the truth behind the news headlines, but Bieber’s team were smart about how much they chose to reveal. It is also comical to note that some of these reviewers only saw the movie to gather material to mock the teen for, but, in the end, the sale money is going into his pockets.
A lot of Beiber’s biggest events (Gomez, Bloom, his arrest) all happened after this film was released, so it would be even better to see whether he does another one, and what we would learn from that.
Overall, Believe is a must-see for his fans, and interesting for anyone else who is curious.