1D as the band is popularly, rather fondly called, is supposed to be huge. Among Teens. Neither am i Teen nor am i into western bands. So an audience like me poses the biggest challenge to films of this genre- a non fan viewer has to like the film inorder for it to be good. While 1D and its members seem harmlessly charming and surprisingly melodious, the film presses all the wrong notes. Less of a documentary and much more of a promotional video with the editor AOL, "This is Us" is a drag. Unless of course you are a fan.
The movie, produced by Cowel, is a carefully manicured account of how the band and its members started out on a reality singing show and chartes a blazing trail of meteoric rise on the music scene. The band members are affable, their comradrie easy and genuine, their heads on their shoudlers with humility unlike many other teen singing sensations, their music topping charts and they constantly in awe of the wonderfully crazy audiences who follow them like a religion. Everything is rosy and good. That is ironically, what is bad about the film.
Wathcing the band through rose tinted glasses of the movie, one wonders if all this is fake (a lot of it is stagemanaged obviously). One aches to see the band members bicker, even remotely hint of any vice as they tour cities, no girls not even boys around except for fans going berserk. How can someone be this squeaky clean? The film chooses to present a picture that just does not connect. Not to a non fan at least.
For the fans though, this is good material. The band members and the film itself doffs its hat to fans more than once in the movie. "We are what we are cause of you" seems to be the guiding principle with constant reminders of how mad the fans are for them and how a lot of their success is due to the fans. In another light it is also a reiteration of the band's power on the masses.
In one of the scenes, a mother of the band member distantly remarks, that her son went to the reality show audition never to come back. The moment stayed with me for long, the subtext of loosing childhood, family time and normal growing up at the altar of fame and success and loads of money gave a whole new dimension to the story fo this wonderfully successful band. Alas, the moment was fleeting, so was the insight.
"this is us" tries hard to reinforce the fact that 1D the band is as "normal" as their fans are. Unfortunately, so is the movie. There is nothing extraordinary about it that would make a mark. Watch it if you have to, or if you are a fan.view less