KSUA 91.5 Notes: “Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream” reviewed

Brady Gross/Sun Star Columnist
February 26, 2013


“Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream” is a documentary that aired recently on HBO, garnering the largest audience the channel has ever experienced. According to Nielsen, an astounding 1.8 million viewers tuned in for the inaugural showing on Feb. 16.

The only problem is the documentary kinda sucked.

Alright, that was really tough. As a man of proper dignity and proud of his love for such a diva as Beyoncé, I feel embarrassed.  Embarrassed that I forgot she’s not particularly from this world.

Beyoncé has lived a posh life, and the documentary doesn’t try to hide that at all. She also has had a great career without any missteps since the day she began throwing guys away for not paying the bills. Nobody really disputes these facts, nor should they. But there lies the problem with a documentary about a person that really hasn’t ever had any life problems. There’s nothing but inspirational motifs and motherly thanks that everything has turned out pretty fantastic.

It’s most likely my fault I expected so much. My friends and I even set up a night to just sit and watch with awe and anticipation of something marvelous and they were tricked too. Beyoncé tends to do that to people in the best way possible. Every move she makes, and every dance she performs, is flawless and mesmerizing.This documentary confirms that Beyoncé has been hypnotizing the general public since day one.

Pop music has transformed since the formidable years Beyoncé decided to grace us with her presence. Songs like “Bootylicious,” “If I Were a Boy” and “Run the World” all showcase stylistic pop that sounds ‘normal’ now, but only since she first sang them. There is no denying the praise Beyoncé deserves.

“Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream” reminds you of all these things, but the key is that the documentary only ‘reminds’ instead of showing you more. I wish that was my only complaint, because no matter if I learned anything new, I still wouldn’t mind just watching Beyoncé do whatever for a hour an a half any day of the week. Unfortunately, the whole documentary must have been produced by an amnesiac who kept trying to remember where the story left off, or where it should go next.

There are some extraordinary dance moves shown at various performances that somehow meant something ‘more’ to Beyonce than the others. But we’ve seen those before too. There were a few intimate moments of Jay-Z nerding out with Beyoncé in some restaurant or on some boat. That was neat to see and confirm they might actually love each other and are not just developing a ploy to rule the world.

I wanted to walk into this documentary ready for a high-cost episode of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ expecting some hidden issue or struggle. To have a few flaws would make Beyoncé even more impressive in our minds and build her up on a pillar that is so remarkable because she overcame ‘this’ or ‘that’. ‘Life is But a Dream’ portrays suspense around trying to hide Beyoncé’s pregnancy until she’s ready to reveal. I’m sorry, but that ‘problem’ isn’t going to suffice.

The documentary ends, the credits roll and Beyoncé has confirmed that she isn’t human at all. Nope, no mistakes, not one. Ok, she had a baby and named it Blue Ivy. Oh wait, still not a mistake.

But then there is this documentary. I would like to convince myself that Beyoncé must have figured she needed a misstep. Just one, at some point in her career to balance out all the success. This may be the safest fail she could ever ask for, and I’m starting to believe she truly planned it all along.

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