I’m just going to start off by saying that I am not the biggest fan of One Direction. They may show up on my iPod every once in a while, but they aren’t my first choice for music.
I can barely even tell them apart most of the time! Despite all of this, my One Direction crazed friend somehow managed to convince me to watch This is Us, a documentary about the band, and I have to admit I was not looking forward to it at all. But, it was actually pretty good.
Part of the reason behind its excellent quality probably lies in the fact that it focuses more on the actual band than the music. Most music documentaries center on the concert it’s covering with the occasional interjection of the musician’s personal life and background. This is Us focuses more on the boys and uses the concert footage as gorgeous transitions between segments, which is great for the movie-goer who doesn’t really care too much for their music and also for the fan that probably already saw the concert footage on YouTube anyway.
That’s one of the great things about the movie is that it doesn’t drown the viewer in One Direction music. Unlike other music documentaries, it actually inspires the viewer to listen to their music on repeat for hours after the movie rather than making them sick of it due to the excessive amounts. The music in the movie all had a purpose too from pepping up the audience for a segment about the boys’ practical jokes or softening the mood for a segment about their families. It was so masterfully done that I found myself tapping my foot to the music at parts or even mouthing the words to the songs I knew without even thinking about it.
The whole movie just had a wonderful flow to it. It immediately starts off with the band’s background, which is the perfect set-up for the non-One Direction fans who got dragged along to the movie (e.g. me and the dad of the year that sat a couple rows ahead of me), and then throws the audience right into the madness that is the One Direction fandom with such fluidity that I hardly blinked an eye at it. The movie also creates a whole array of emotions in such a short time span. There were times where I laughed, times where I cried, and even some times where I was beaming with pride. All of this happened even though I had no emotional attachment to the band previously.
But there’s hardly a movie without its drawbacks. For This is Us, the movie sort of drags at parts due to the repetitiveness of some themes. The flow is still excellent and the transitions are nearly flawless, but the movie is definitely sort of a homage to the fans which is evident by the excessive amount of crowd shots and segments dedicated to the fans. This is all very nice, but it can eventually be a little boring to the non-fan who would rather see more backstage golf cart races.
Overall, it’s a very fun movie. So if you’re a non-fan being dragged to it, don’t be too upset. It was a pleasant surprise for me and ruined any chance of a nap during the movie. In fact, I might go as far to recommend it if you have some minor background knowledge of One Direction. It’s not a disappointment. Who knows? You might even walk out of the theater as a fan. I know I did!
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