Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé Review
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, written by James B. Merryman, Mark Ritchie and starring Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Kelly Rowland, Cardi B, LeToya Luckett, Blue Ivy Carter, Michelle Williams, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, LaTavia Roberson, Emily Bear and Tiffany Monique Ryan.
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé is a long (almost three-hours) but rewarding concert film that is a bit different from the recent Taylor Swift movie. In Beyoncé’s new picture, there are a lot of insights into the superstar’s life aspirations and she talks late in the film about how she has grown to become more comfortable in her 40’s than in her earlier years. Though the concert material is very good, it was a bit more interesting to learn more about Beyoncé’s family history and, especially, her battle with a serious vocal problem when she was very young. She would belt out a tune and not realize she should have said something when she felt discomfort while singing. Overcoming this situation was key to our singer becoming the formidable talent that she is today. This film’s factual tidbits make the movie a bona-fide success and are the real reasons to see the movie.
Perhaps, the best place to start, however, is with the concert material. This is a completely different type of film than Taylor Swift’s. Yes, both artists perform on stage for much of the movie but Beyonce’s songs tend to have more explicit lyrics which will make it a little less family friendly as a whole. Beyoncé’s movie feels a bit darker in tone and has an early scene which deals with what happens when the power goes out during a concert. At points in the new picture, there is footage intercut with our superstar in many different colored outfits during the same song. One particularly memorable design is a dress that has hand prints all over it, most memorably on the lower backside of the dress.
This film briefly explores the set-building process of our star’s concerts and explains how long it takes to bring such a tour into existence. “Renaissance,” we learn, is a term that suggests something or someone being reborn. There are many upbeat songs to listen to here but also some very heavy, detailed ones which use lyrics that are expressive and, at times, have profanity in them. On a side note, of course, Beyoncé’s back-up crew is all top notch with some fine dancers making their presence known on-stage and a pregnant trumpet player also gets a moment to shine and speak out in the movie.
This all plays like a documentary (which it is) in-between the concert sequences though the scenes involving Beyoncé’s mom, Tina, stand out significantly. This part of the movie is deeply touching. All the issues of family that the movie details are the strongest points of the film. Our superstar’s mother was an absolute inspiration to Beyoncé. Meanwhile, the singer also explains how her kids love her because she’s their mom. They don’t love her because she’s “Beyoncé.” She just happens to be one of the world’s most loved musical talents. At the end of the day, though, she’s a great mom.
A series of detailed explanations regarding our star’s Uncle Johnny are deeply moving. Her uncle made dresses for her and put a lot of heart into helping Beyoncé in the early stages of her career. He was a gay man who our singer believes struggled immensely throughout his life but he gave Beyoncé inspiration and hope at all times. Not to mention some really great outfits.
Diana Ross also appears on-stage to wish Beyoncé a happy birthday and that’s, perhaps, the most enjoyable concert footage in the movie. Watching two stars of different generations come together on-stage is simply awe-inspiring. In addition, the movie gives us a look at her Beyhive fan club a bit towards the ending with Beyoncé appropriately dressed for these scenes. The film ends with a horse that is put onto the stage for our superstar.
You don’t have to love Beyoncé’s music to appreciate the movie but it would help. Her songs that are performed in the movie have a distinct quality about them that makes them more accessible to fans of her music. People going into this movie who aren’t fond of her music will find the behind-the-scenes look at her family construct more interesting. Jay-Z appears briefly in the picture as well.
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé is terrifically crafted and the music sensation, herself, is the principal creative force behind the scenes of the film. The mix of concert footage and real-life pictures and footage of the music sensation is enough to please both true-blue fans and newcomers to her work. It’s clear that Beyoncé put her heart and soul into this movie and it shows. It’s edited to perfection and is a truly accomplished film. However, because of the presence of explicit lyrics in the music (even at the end credits), it is recommended mainly for ages 15 and up.
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