One Direction joins Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry as musicians who’ve released concert documentaries.
Morgan Spurlock’s newest creation, “One Direction: This Is Us” shows the lives of the five band members, how they came to be a band and how they achieved worldwide success.
“This is Us” is mostly composed of interviews from band members Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne.
The documentary plays in digital cinema and 3-D.
In the digital cinema version of the movie, some moments suggest the movie was intended to be produced in 3-D; however, it doesn’t take away from the viewing experience of the movie in its digital form.
The documentary contains a mix of concert videos from around the world – with some added special effects – as well as backstage footage.
It also features interviews with the One Direction band members, their families and Simon Cowell, who helped the band get its start on “The X Factor.”
The documentary is informative as well as entertaining.
The cinematography of “One Direction: This is Us” stands as one of its best features. The blend of interviews and concert footage transitions well. Also, the camera work for the concert footage, while mainly focusing on the band, shows the size of each stadium and the large turnout of each crowd.
Another particularly strong point the documentary shows is the members of the band having fun backstage, at dance rehearsal, in the studio and near concert venues. This serves to show that the members are also just like other normal 19-21-year-old guys.
The interviews with the band members’ families add another layer of depth.
A group of their parents go to see one of their shows in New York City and Liam’s mom buys a cardboard cut-out of her son to say goodnight to while he’s on tour.
When the band members are on break from tour and stop home to visit their families, one father mentions that the visit is the fifth time the family has seen their boy since he went to audition for “The X Factor.”
What the documentary lacks, however, is any information about conflict between any of the band members. There was a momentary mention of kicking Zayn out when they were on “The X Factor,” but nothing else.
It’s difficult to imagine five guys traveling the world and always being together without getting into some sort of arguments every now and then.
Aside from those setbacks, the majority of the documentary covered the basis of both entertainment and information. The runtime is a little more than an hour and a half so viewers won’t get bored easily and both positive and negative aspects of being on tour are included.
“One Direction: This Is Us” sits at No. 6 at the box office and has grossed more than $23 million in two weeks.