Questions have been raised as to whether Beyonce Knowles indeed reveal more of herself in “Beyonce: Life is But a Dream.” Beyonce’s journey in her career and family life has been the focus of self-directed documentary.
The 90-minute film has shown Beyonce pouring her heart out as she goes every step in many aspects of her life. It showed her crying when a miscarriage hit her marriage with husband, Jay-Z. It also allowed the audience to share the celebrity couple’s happiness as they sing Coldplay’s “Yellow” to celebrate her pregnancy. And the beautiful life both she and Jay-Z felt when little Blue Ivy came into their lives.
Received by many as a glimpse of her “very guarded private life,” Beyonce’s “Life is But a Dream has shown us how she felt when she relieved her father of managerial duties and the pain she has to go through when the decision to cut professional ties with a loving ties had to be carried out.
Always calculated and keeping things together, Beyonce has shown the other side of her in the documentary. Millions of viewers who had seen the film witnessed Beyonce looking at the camera and talking to it, to her laptop, her family and her career as a professional singer.
Questions have been raised if indeed Beyonce has revealed something new - - or offered something not known of the 32-year-old singer.
Critics from various news organizations have these to say about Beyonce and her HBO specials, “Beyonce: Life is But a Dream.”
The New York Times: "Beyoncé: Life Is but a Dream is as contrived as Madonna: Truth or Dare, but probably for good reason it is neither daring nor entirely truthful. It's an infomercial, not just about Beyoncé's talent onstage but her authenticity behind the scenes."
The Washington Post: "Life Is but a Dream has no through-line, no linear narrative. It's more like a hallucinatory advertisement for success, and to her credit Beyoncé put the word 'dream' in the title. The theme is celebrity ennui alternating with spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Which isn't much of a theme."
The Hollywood Reporter: "A film that sells itself as a candid self-portrait ends up revealing not much at all." And, "This is less a documentary portrait than a micromanaged video diary exploring the R&B superstar's relationship with her laptop."
Entertainment Weekly: "On one hand, the movie could be exactly what it says it is: a verité video-quilt stitched from snippets of the private life of America's current First Performer. ... Or you could take the cynic's view say that the whole thing is a sham, just a televised press release designed to provide the same kind of rigidly distanced intimacy that we get from the snapshots on Beyoncé's immaculately curated Instagram feed."
Newsday: "The best moments of Life Is But a Dream are the truly unscripted ones, like when Jay-Z croons Coldplay's Yellow to her or an old clip of her and the rest of Destiny's Child bouncing around the kitchen singing The Cardigans' Lovefool. That's when Beyoncé seems most like an ordinary person with extraordinary talents — the one who's far more likable than the seemingly calculated Dream one."
Zap2It.com: "Pop mega-star Beyoncé Knowles' hypothetically intimate 'documentary' Life Is a But a Dream is equal parts vanity project and calculated act of image control. The only thing revealed by the film — co-directed, co-written and co-executive produced by Beyoncé herself — is a narcissistic inability to give up that desire for control."
“Beyonce: Life is But a Dream” aired on HBO on February 16, 2012. It was described by Oprah as “fiercely empowering” and the film, said Oprah, has left her “in tears”, calling “the documentary a game changer.”
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