BeyoncÃ©'s HBO documentaryÂ Life Is But A DreamÂ premiered on Monday night to general acclaim from critics and fans worldwide. With an abundance of hype and 1.8 million viewers, the documentary has broken HBO's record for the most viewed program since 2004. Yet is the film actually worth all the hype? Find out below!
Life Is But A Dream is BeyoncÃ©'s first feature-length documentary and the most we've seen of her since her pregnancy late last year.Â Primarily shot by King Bey herself, the film intersperses home footage with interview sequences and bountiful performance scenes. Despite it's billing as an intimate look into her life, the film rarely displays anything that we didn't know about Bey, instead choosing to flesh out major points of the last few years in more detail while still maintaining quite a bit of mystery as to Bey's day-to-day life. In an interview with GQ, Bey revealed -Â "I always battle with: How much do I reveal about myself? How do I keep my humility? How do I keep my spirit and the reality? And how do I continue to be generous to â€” to my fans and to my craft?" - a sentiment echoed again and again during the documentary. Even after an hour and a half and plenty of tearful moments, the audience feels no more connection to the singer than they did before watching it.
If there's one thing thatÂ Life is able to reinforce to it's audience, it's Bey's talent - which, in this case, is both a positive and a negative. The filmÂ languorsÂ quite a bit over performance footage, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but most fans will have seen it all from previous DVD's such asÂ Revel Presents: BeyoncÃ© Live,Â 4 Intimate Nights with BeyoncÃ© orÂ Live at Roseland: Elements of 4.Â Furthermore, while the songs are often linked to whatever Bey is talking about during her interview sections, by the end of the film the performances shown are completely unrelated to the topic - as is the case with 'Resentment', a song from 2006 which is seemingly randomly slid into the show to fill up time.
Another problem with the film is it's somewhat lack of focus. Most documentary films begin with a statement, informing the audience of what dates the film was shot between and what it will be following - but Life meanders along at it's own slow pace, failing to lead up to anything or create any sort of dramatic tension for the audience to enjoy. No particularly interesting revelations are made to give the plot a twist, and overall the film stretches on for far too long.
Overall,Â Life Is But A Dream is overlong, disjointed andÂ gratuitousÂ in it's Instagrammed shots of Bey and her doe eyes. It provides only a little insight into the enigmatic performer, who has often been referred to as one of the best of her generation.
And yet somehow, we still love it. It may be her beauty, her kindness, her ferocity or her obvious talent, but it's hard not to be compelled to the 31 year-old singer and her long, mournful, wide-eyed look at the camera. While we're quite sure that almost every scene in the film has been thought over again and again to promote a new aspect of theÂ BeyoncÃ© brand, if Bey puts as much heart, compassion and energy into the rest of her products, we'll keep buying them again and again.