MRR Review: "Justin Bieber's Believe"

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A backstage and on-stage look at Justin Bieber during his rise to super stardom.
2.5

MRR Review: "Justin Bieber's Believe"

Rating: PG (Brief language, mild thematic material)
Length: 92 minutes
Release Date: December 25, 2013
Directed By: Jon M. Chu
Genre: Documentary

Justin Bieber may be one of the most polarizing superstars on the market, but it's hard to deny that this teenage singing sensation has taken the music industry by storm. With a devoted fan base that calls themselves the Beliebers, it's no surprise that Bieber's popularity has earned him multiple movie and television deals. "Justin Bieber's Believe" is a 2013 documentary that chronicles the pop star's rise to fame from his perspective, interviewing the various movie industry executives, friends, and celebrities who helped him get the superstar status he holds today.

The most intriguing aspect of the film is how director Jon Chu manages to get such candid glimpses into Bieber's life, both on and offstage. It takes a team of talented professionals to put together a show for one of the most iconic musicians in the world, and Bieber is no exception. From the lights and sound to choreography and lyrics, the film delves deeply into the creative and technical processes behind Bieber's music. "Justin Bieber's Believe" is a unique look into the behind-the-scenes process of the music industry, highlighting just how complicated it is to get every little detail right before he goes on stage.

If there is one thing that Justin Bieber is known for, it's giving a great live performance. The young singer didn't come up through the ranks of Disney or other popular venues like most of his contemporaries. Instead, he was discovered by a major recording artist when he placed a self-produced music video of his hit single "Baby" on YouTube. This success story is truly unique to the digital age, showcasing the fact that anyone with the talent and drive can become a star with a little luck and ingenuity. Bieber proves he has a lot of both in this telling documentary.

It's no secret that Justin Bieber has a particularly large fan base among the ranks of teenage girls. "Justin Bieber's Believe" interviews many of those fans and explores the various ways in which they connect to his music and image. While it may be tempting for many adults to dismiss his career as just another teen idol, the documentary shows that the singer is just as much of a businessman as he is an entertainer. In spite of Bieber's whirlwind success, he still cares deeply for his fans, and that connection shows throughout the film. Whether he's onstage or signing autographs while out and about, Bieber remains connected to the millions of fans who put him on the map.

Of course, music is a major element of any documentary chronicling the life of a musician. "Justin Bieber's Believe" follows his musical evolution from his early days making self-produced hits for YouTube to his chart-topping songs played on radio stations all across the country. If there's one thing the singer can do well, it's to create a catchy melody with lyrics that are sure to get stuck in any listener's head for years to come. In this film, Bieber talks about his writing process and what the music means to him. The documentary gives a surprisingly down-to-earth impression of Bieber and discusses the effects of rising to fame so fast at such a young age.

Another major aspect of the movie is how Bieber has been received by his fellow artists. Usher, one of the most successful R&B artists in recent decades, took a risk early on in Bieber's career by taking the young artist under his wing. Usher wasn't the only celebrity who saw the potential in Bieber's image, though. The documentary interviews various entertainment industry personalities, including Ellen DeGeneres and will.i.am. These celebrities discuss Bieber's rise to fame and compare him to other famous faces in the music industry while sharing their personal and professional anecdotes. Bieber's own manager and right-hand man comes on screen to discuss his role in making Bieber's name one of the biggest and most talked-about in the music industry.

From die-hard Justin Bieber fans and Beliebers to those who simply find the fast-paced world of the music industry fascinating, "Justin Bieber's Believe" is a must-see documentary. The film chronicles his life from a normal suburban kid with a love for singing and writing great music to one of the most sensationalized pop music icons of his generation. The documentary doesn't shy away from some of the controversies that have arisen during Bieber's short but illustrious career, but rather tackles them head-on and provides a fair amount of backstory and information. "Justin Bieber's Believe" is a fascinating look at the forces that made one of the biggest voices of the new generation.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5