One Direction: This Is Us: Superficial Documentary on the Biggest Boy Band in the World
Harry StylesLiam Payne...
In 1 Cinema
Since their exit from British television show The X Factor back in 2010, British-Irish boy band, One Direction, have been rapidly taking over the world. Thanks to their boyish looks, catchy bubblegum pop and the incredible powers of social media, the band has captured the hearts of teenage girls around the globe. Brought to us by Morgan Spurlock – the award-winning director of controversial documentary, Super-Size Me – This is Us aims to unveil what’s behind that pretty exterior.
After a quick retelling of the band’s experience on The X-Factor, and how they have since become one of the biggest boy bands – thanks to the one and only Simon Cowell – the film moves on to follow Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis through various stages of their insanely popular 2012 world tour.
Their travel stops include Europe, Japan and New York, offering plenty of backstage peeks for undying fans; the boys are observed goofing around, just like everyday ‘lads’. The cameras also allow us access to the band’s ‘down time’, following them on an impromptu fishing trip at one point.
In an attempt to add meaning and depth to the film, photos from their early years are shown, as well as interviews with their families. We learn that the parents, although seemingly proud of their children’s accomplishments, can’t help but feel sad that they have lost their children to fame.
For those hoping for more of an insightful look into the lives of these seemingly goofy and charming young men, you’re not going to find it here. Spurlock doesn’t bother to ask any important or meaningful questions. Instead, he opts for more of a breezy, carefree and ultimately barren viewpoint of a band that has sold over nineteen million singles and ten million albums worldwide. Everything about the set up awfully sterile; the boys are presented as divine creations of God, with no imperfections or flaws, making the whole thing very difficult to relate to or invest in.
As for the music, hits such as ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and ‘One Thing’ take centre stage and thanks to the impressive use of 3D, fans can live out their wildest fantasies. Unfortunately, the viewers never get to see the actual process of making the music and it quickly becomes painfully obvious that One Direction are more interested in the fame than in the music itself.
Essentially, This Is Us serves as a lengthy commercial, intended solely for a very specific and unwavering targeted audience – young, teenage girls. However, for the rest of us, there is nothing here that we don’t already know. This is no documentary; this is 92 minutes of cheap reality TV.