Where ‘Never Say Never’ documented Justin Bieber’s stratospheric rise to fame, his second documentary, ‘Believe’, offers an intimate look into the young singer’s life that answers all the questions about his recent, much-publicized ‘bad boy’ behavior.
When Justin Bieber‘s manager, Scooter Braun, told ABC News Radio that Believe would portray Justin as a “human being” and with “complete vulnerability,” he wasn’t wrong. Believe is a perfect Christmas gift to the ever-loyal Beliebers who may have been questioning the pop star’s recent choices and his commitment to his fans. Scooter sums it up by saying, “I think people forget that it’s just a 19-year-old kid, trying to figure it out.”
Justin Bieber’s ‘Believe’ Review: Documentary Humanizes Pop Star
Scooter makes an important point — Justin is just 19, after all, and who hasn’t attacked a paparazzo, gotten a lap dance, spray-painted graffiti illegally, gone to a brothel, and been filmed sleeping by an alleged prostitute after an alleged dalliance when they were his age?
OK — so maybe that’s not the typical 19-year-old experience. However, Justin Bieber is not your typical 19-year-old. Believe documented his — you guessed it — Believe tour, a 162-stop tour which ran from September 29, 2012 to December 8, 2013.
The concert-film documentary opens with Justin playing the piano — just him and his music. This is a sharp contrast to the concert footage interspersed throughout the film which shows, among other things, Justin descending from the air in an all-white suit on wings made of musical instruments to greet fans who are beside themselves with glee.
Believe has all of what you might expect — lots of singing, dancing, female fans losing their marbles, and Justin sporting a wardrobe that consists largely of drop-crotch pants paired with jackets with no shirt underneath. This is what we’ve come to expect from Bieber the character, the figurehead to a legion of Beliebers — however, we also see a more human side of a person who you can’t help but see as just a kid once all of that is stripped away.
Love him or hate him, even the casual viewer of Believe won’t be able to deny his talent or his commitment to music. When Justin is filmed in studio, the viewer can see that, for him, music is almost a physical thing, bubbling at the surface. He’s constantly coming up with melodies and lyrics on the fly and his enthusiasm for what he does is infectious. Even Rodney Jerkins, a legendary producer who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, told the camera that he feeds on Justin’s energy and ideas because it really shows that he loves music.
When Justin is filmed in concert, the atmosphere is surreal, and the viewer is able to take in the enormity of the pressure placed on Justin’s 19-year-old shoulders — it cannot be easy to be the face of an empire. Even Justin’s father, Jeremy Bieber, admits that there was a lot of Justin’s childhood that was taken away from him due to working so much. However, Justin is portrayed as being grateful, humble, and ever loyal to his fans.
Justin Bieber On Attacking A London Paparazzo: “I Really Wanted To Hit Him”
Under this insane amount of pressure, Justin has had a few slip-ups, but he is candid about them. For example, Justin had this to say about being restrained from attacking a paparazzo in London:
“As a human being, rage comes out and I happened to snap. I really wanted to hit him. We ended up peeling off, and I learned from that. That’s what they wanted. They wanted to get a reaction from me so they could print that and make me seem all out of control. I have a heart and I have feelings and when people hurt my heart I’m going to get hurt and angry and lash out sometimes because I’m a human being.”
Justin is similarly honest when asked what he thinks about possibly becoming the next child star-turned-train-wreck, and he insists that it was his upbringing that keeps him humble and that he is “super grateful” to his mother.
Believe is the perfect Christmas gift to fans of Justin Bieber everywhere. Justin is committed to giving as much of himself to his fans as possible and that’s clear in this documentary. Even if you’re not a fan but someone you love is dragging you to see this film, you will (probably) enjoy yourself. It is an interesting and honest portrayal of a human being who is currently experiencing fame beyond measure and doing his level best to keep his head on straight at the same time. Believe catalogues his tour, sure, but it is also a look at Justin Bieber behind the curtain.
There are some funny moments (when he talks about his sad little moustache and when his mother implores him to pull up his pants) and some sad moments (a portion of the movie is devoted to late superfan Avalanna), which makes Believe a great way for Beliebers to spend the holidays.
So, HollywoodLifers, will you see Believe this holiday season? Let us know!