Review of Never Say Never


Movie Review: "Never Say Never"

-- Rating: G
Length: 105 minutes
Release Date: Feb. 11, 2011
Directed By: Jon M. Chu
Genre: Documentary/Music

Fans who closely follow a favorite celebrity can never seem to get enough information to satisfy their curiosity. Learning about the private life of a star is one way to make the individual seem more down-to-earth, instead of seeming larger than life. "Never Say Never" is a documentary about teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. Through this film, the audience learns more about the person behind the fame.

"Never Say Never" follows Bieber on the last leg of his 2011 tour as he builds up to his final, sold-out performance at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The documentary footage includes previous concert performances, backstage events, practices, and personal interactions between Bieber and his family and friends. Fans get the opportunity to view baby pictures of Bieber and photos of him as a child using a drum set and singing in the bathroom. Through this film, moviegoers get to see how he became famous and the sacrifices made by his entire family to further his career.

This movie was released when other singers were also filming their own documentaries. Singer Katy Perry released her documentary "Part of Me" in July 2012. Perry's film, much like Bieber's, is a chronicle of her life on and off the stage. Both films did fairly well at the box office, with "Part of Me" grossing over $32 million and "Never Say Never" bringing in over $73 million.

While Bieber's music is most popular with teenage girls, moviegoers of all ages were able to appreciate Bieber as a young man who has managed to stay grounded through his rise to fame. With the help of his mother, manager, and others, Bieber presents a picture of a person who has learned to appreciate every achievement.

Bieber's success began when his mother uploaded home videos to YouTube for his family to enjoy. The videos went viral. Strangers who watched the videos of Bieber left comments requesting to see more of his amazing singing. Scooter Braun, Bieber's eventual manager, received a link to the videos from a colleague. Braun contacted Bieber's mother in Canada and invited them to come to Atlanta in the United States.

The film recollects the meeting between Braun, Bieber, and his mother, including the events that followed. After the meeting, Braun introduced Bieber to some influential people who helped to further his career, including R&B singer Usher. With the help of Usher, Beiber recorded his first hit song "One Time." Braun began scheduling appearances at various radio stations across the country to promote Bieber's new single. He gained followers at every stop, and soon he had hundreds of girls waiting on him after each appearance. The film shows Bieber's work ethic, his faith in God, and his commitment to his fans. The film's underlying message seems to promote the idea that no matter what happens, you should "Never Say Never." Bieber encourages his fans to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their goals. Other celebrities make special cameo appearances in the film. Boys II Men, a popular vocal group, best known for their soulful ballads, is featured in the film. The group performed a cover of Bieber's hit single "U Smile." Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston, Ludacris, and Jaden Smith also appear in the film.

The aim of "Never Say Never" is to inspire others by telling the story of a boy from Canada who worked his way up from banging on chairs, to learning rhythm on a drum set he got for Christmas, to stardom. The film provides a heartwarming peek into a family's love for each other and shows the devotion of Scooter Braun, who helped Bieber realize his dreams.

Braun's determination and Bieber's motto to "Never Say Never" were two of the key factors that made Bieber the celebrity he is today. Not many musicians can sell out Madison Square Garden, but Bieber accomplished this feat at a young age. From backstage, moviegoers get to watch this accomplishment and share in the joy as Bieber performs in front of thousands of people.

Rating: 2 out of 5