On the eve of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears invited a film crew into her life. This film was captured over the three months that followed. No topic was off limits. No questions went unanswered. What is it really like to be one of the world's most controversial and sought after figures? This all access, no holds barred film takes you inside the mind, heart and soul of Britney Spears as she shares what has been truly been going on in her life for the last several years together with a rare glimpse into her hopes and aspirations for the future.
There are reviewers who take pleasure in tearing movies apart, giving rock bottom ratings to productions they see no value in. Do not blame us for thinking that we were going to jump onto the bandwagon, to criticize this made for television documentary about, ahem, Britney Spears. We are asking for empathy from readers who aren’t fans of Ms. Spears – “What? A documentary for someone as trashy as Britney?” was our first reaction when this DVD was handed on our laps too.
We were all ready to write a “it’s so bad… it’s good” kind of review when we found ourselves watching every single minute of this 63 minute documentary. And that’s impressive for someone who sings songs entitled “…Baby One More Time”, “Oops!... I Did It Again” and “I’m A Slave 4 U”, and received a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in Crossroads (2002), the only movie starring role in her career.
This Phil Griffin directed programme was aired two days before her birthday in November last year on MTV. The broadcast premiere was also two days before Spears’ sixth studio album “Circus”. Made with the objective of chronicling her return to the entertainment scene after her repeated boo boos, the shoot began in September 2008, two days before the MTV Video Music Awards held that year. Through interviews and footages of her everyday activities, viewers can get to see what this popular culture phenomenon (Justin Timberlake! Kevin Federline! Babies!) is like behind the cameras.
Of course, more intelligent viewers would realise that this is a promotional vehicle for her latest album “Circus” – why else would the producers decide to include behind the scene footages of Spears shooting her music video with, gasp, elephants?
Shot in 60 days, the documentary brings viewers on a manipulative emotional journey where you hear Spears reflecting about the past (hear her talk about much talked about relationships with Timberlake and Federline), see her dance her troubles away (check out those mean and lean choreography on stage) and be in awe with the very decent camerawork that isn’t as shoddy as you think it would be. You know that Spears is using this programme as an outlet to justify her past actions, but you still feel for her because of that slight emotional tremor in her voice, that loving shot of her father preparing breakfast for her, and not to forget, that concluding chapter that the star who had once fallen, is ready to pick herself up and face the world again.
You go, girl!
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
The disc’s visual transfer is fine, and the movie is presented in its original English soundtrack.
Review by John Li
Posted on 23 June 2009