Movie Review – Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING)

TL;DR – A work of art for all to see.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


One of the issues living in Australia is that the likelihood of me being able to go to some of these big tent pole events across the world is quite low. However, in this age of digital connection that is not the problem that it used to be, as connections become stronger around the world. Today we take a look at a film that takes this to heart as it explores not only a concert and how it was made but also the philosophy that went that underpinned it all.

So to set the scene, last year at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or as it more commonly called Coachella, history was made. For the first time, the festival was being headlined by an African-American woman (and only the 3rd women in their history at that point) when Beyoncé stepped onto the stage to perform. These performances rocked the music world for their choreography, their musical strength, their surprise guests, and because they were full of power.

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.
You can see the power from the very first moment. Image Credit: Netflix.

In Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé what we get is a film in two parts. The first being the concert itself, and the second being the behinds the scenes look at how the concert came together. Since the film starts with the concert lets also start there. What we get throughout the film is a sampling of the highlights of the show that explore the main themes and styles at play. This is of course helped by the fact that an incredible amount of work went into the staging on the original show so you have the strongest base possible to work from. The filmmakers use insert shots from audience level and in different formats from the main feed to give a lot of visual variety to the concert so that you are constantly being drawn in. There are times when you feel almost like you were there in the audience as the trombones ring out into the night sky. Throughout the concert we are presented with some of the most talented people on the planet performing at their peak, this makes HΘMΣCΘMING a must see just for that.   

However, more than this, what we also get in the second half of the film is the insight into how the concert all came together. They were rehearsing for at least eight months for a concert that had only two performances. On the one hand, this is a ludicrous level of preparation but then all of that work is clearly on display. While we see the lengths that went into the production of the concert, we also get to see the influences behind the stage show. The vibe is taking the notion of the homecoming event from American college discourse, specifically from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This is an interesting one for me being both not American and not in any way of African ancestry. This means that my context for what they were drawing from was not from events I experienced in University but from what I have seen from film and TV. However, even without that experience, you can see just what they are doing here.

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.
The concert is a technical masterpiece, making Homecoming a must see just for the concert alone. Image Credit: Netflix.

More than just behind the scenes of the production of the concert, the film also explores the work Beyoncé to prepare for it. There are those moments where you are trying to create something that people will be able to look to as forwarding a cultural tradition through art. However, you are doing this a year after a very difficult pregnancy and while juggling being a mum of three kids and getting your body into a position where it can do everything you want it to do. There are real lows and highs during the preparation and you feel Beyoncé pushing herself to the very limit. We see her strength with faith, with family, with the love of what she is doing, and the hope for the future.

In the end, do we recommend Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé? Yes, yes we do. This would be something I would recommend if it was just clips of the concert. However, what makes this a must watch is the exploration of everything that went on behind the scenes to put it all together. There is some language that might be difficult for some people, however, I found it to be an amazing moment in art that now anyone can see on Netflix.       

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Homecoming?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 

Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
Directed by
– Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Ed Burke
Written by – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Music by – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Derek Dixie
Edited by – Alexander Hammer, Andrew Morrow, Nia Imani & Julian Klincewicz
Production/Distribution Companies –
Featuring
– Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Solange & the cast of HΘMΣCΘMING  
Rating – Australia: MA15+

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