What Selena Gomez’s Documentary ‘My Mind and Me’ Is Missing

Music documentaries are a dime these days. In the past three years alone, several A-list artists, including Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Jennifer LopezTravis Scott, and Ariana Grande provided fans behind-the-scenes access to tours, tapings, special performances, and other career highlights through various streaming platforms. In one Weekly entertainment article About the phenomenon, journalist Marcus Jones theorized that, for today’s biggest musicians, “being a cinematic subject has replaced all the in-depth magazine cover stories and network television sites as a way for artists to express themselves in a new light. “

That said, it was only a matter of time ago Selena Gomezquite private and sometimes don’t like the press pop star, will use the medium to her advantage — though, the seeds for a documentary were planted in early 2015. After watching Madonna: Truth or Dare, Gomez recruited director Alek Keshishian, who also directed her “Hands to Myself” music video (and is the brother of her manager) to follow her around the world for her second studio album. , revival. However, their plans came to a halt when Gomez ended the tour after 55 shows, citing depression and anxiety due to her lupus. In 2018, she was admitted to a psychiatric facility.

These dismal turning points will eventually be the focus of Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me, Now available on Apple TV+. The 90-minute documentary begins with troubling footage of the “Come and Get It” singer having an emotional outburst before canceling the tour and continues into 2019, after she was diagnosed with the disorder. bipolar disorder. As implied in the title, the film helps fans understand the void the 30-year-old has over the past six years, as headlines about her physical and mental health have cast a shadow over her burgeoning career. her vigorous development.

“Let me promise you,” she recounts at the beginning of the film. “I’ll show you my darkest secrets.”

How willing you are to believe this statement by one of the world’s biggest celebrities will shape your documentary-watching experience. Still, the summary Gomez gives about her previous mental health struggles is as heartbreaking as one would expect, even if it’s a bit vague. The There are only murders in the building The star, as well as her friends and family are interviewed in the documentary, alluding to how her experiences with suicidal ideation and her ending of bipolar episodes drew between her and her friends. her loved one before she was diagnosed. Additionally, in a scene where she has a flare-up of lupus, we see how dealing with a chronic illness affects her overall health.

While her willingness to speak on such a difficult subject is certainly noble and beneficial to certain audiences, it is not surprising that she would open up in this way. if you pay attention to her non-musical output. Much of Gomez’s social media presence, speeches, nonprofit work, and even television projects in recent years, like 13 reasons why, focusing on mental health awareness. And she even started a mental health company last year called Wondermind inspired by her personal journey.

That said, I have found My mind and I becomes a more compelling documentary with less PR sequence. Seeing Gomez visit her elementary school in Texas and reunite with her childhood neighbors is sweet and a moving reminder of her humble beginnings. But more realistic shots of her at work, as she complains about her album press work. Rare and feel “like a product,” creating a more compelling story about celebrity nature. And yet, aside from the occasional footage of Gomez being surrounded by paparazzi and constantly asking questions about ex Justin Bieber, the documentary isn’t all that interested Selena Gomez, the superstar.

And yet, aside from the occasional footage of Gomez being surrounded by paparazzi and constantly asking questions about ex Justin Bieber, the documentary isn’t all that interested Selena Gomez, the superstar.

It’s strange that Gomez’s star cast is not analyzed throughout the film. While Keshishian answers fans’ questions about her personal happiness, the documentary inadvertently raises another question: Does Gomez really enjoy her work? And why is she still in business if it seems to cause her so much suffering? The film lacks such clarity because it practically doesn’t take the time to engage with her profession as a singer, actress or producer. Gomez answers the following question herself, repeatedly saying that she wants to use her platform to help people. (This is an answer that is hard to accept on the face of a millionaire with makeup.)

While Gomez’s intentions are most likely pure, some parts of the documentary pause, including a trip to Kenya to visit WE University — where she helped raise funds with Controversial WE Charity—To the halfway point of the movie. Gomez doesn’t seem to know that she’s participating in “volunteer activities”. And while her conversations with students are heartwarming, these exchanges mostly benefit Gomez on her spiritual and emotional journey. It’s refreshing at least as the segment ends with the singer’s best friend Raquelle bluntly reminding her that this is “not [her] reality.”

Overall, My mind and I paints a sympathetic, PR-friendly portrait of Gomez as a kind, selfless pop star. It’s frustrating that the doctor isn’t more interested in interrogating the disillusioned child actor or the woman whose famous earthquake sometimes seems inexplicable. A bolder doc that would tackle her tougher celebrity questions. Maybe Gomez isn’t ready to go there yet.

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