Beyoncé knows what her fans have gone through to make it to her Renaissance World Tour.
As she says in Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé, she herself has been changed by seeing her idols perform live.
That’s why she put all her energy into the creative direction of her show. Those efforts are on full display in the concert film, which is just as much a behind-the-scenes documentary and rare interview with Beyoncé as it is a treat to the best seat in the house for the nearly 3-hour performance.
In fact, the film opens with a tribute to the Beyhive, as they prepare to enter the stadium for the spectacle. As they dance outside and rush to their seats, Beyoncé is backstage preparing to step up to the mic. When she does, she beautifully belts “Dangerously in Love” to open the show.
Seeing Beyoncé perform live might be akin to a religious experience. Need proof? Just look at the reactions of fans across the world, who are front and center in this film, as they bask in her presence on stage throughout the show.
The visuals and lighting are stunning on screen and even more immersive than they appear in the venue during the live show, as the camera often appears to be engulfed by the monstrous screen at the back of the stage. Instead of tricking audiences into thinking this film was shot over the course of one or two nights, Beyoncé chooses to highlight numerous stops on her tour from Las Vegas to Barcelona, primarily through her outfits, which often changed mid-song on screen.
But as breathtaking as every facet of the performance is, the most fascinating elements of the film are those that fans never got to see from their seats.
Beyoncé, who also directed the film, takes viewers behind the scenes of the creation of the Renaissance World Tour, starting from the very beginning. It took four years and countless iterations of her massive, mind-bending stage to settle on the final product. She not only celebrates her own accomplishment, but those of her crew — many of whom are women, as she proudly points out.
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé doesn’t just celebrate the good, also giving insight into technical difficulties during several shows, as well as rough patches for the singer herself, who underwent knee surgery just a month before tour rehearsals began.
In addition to Beyoncé the performer and creative director, audiences will also get to see plenty of heartwarming footage of Beyoncé as a mom. Blue Ivy, her oldest daughter, took the stage with her nearly every night of the tour, which is a decision that Beyoncé explains she didn’t take lightly.
Younger siblings Rumi and Sir were also in tow for many of the stops on tour. As she leaves the stage and the applause of 70,000 fans behind each night, Beyoncé goes into mom mode, making sure her babies are taken care of, and the cameras follow.
Considering Beyoncé generally stays out of the public eye, the intimate insight into her life at this stage in her career is a special treat. She speaks about the trials she’s faced in her 27-year career and how she’s navigated her life as a mother, businesswoman and recording artist. At times, one might be left longing for even more vulnerability as the footage transitions back to another performance from the Renaissance Tour.
With so much behind-the-scenes footage, it should come as no surprise that not every song from her live concert is included in the film. But, fans will be treated to many of the highlights, including most of the Renaissance album. Audiences can also expect some of her greatest hits, like “Drunk in Love,” “Partition” and “Formation.”
Also included are special guest performances by Megan Thee Stallion in Houston and Kendrick Lamar in Los Angeles (a redemption for Lamar, since audio issues prevented audiences from hearing most of that performance live). And, of course, they could not forget to feature Diana Ross taking the stage to sing “Happy Birthday” to Beyoncé during her Sept. 4 Los Angeles tour stop.
Whatever is missing won’t leave audiences lacking, though. The film captures all the spectacle and energy that makes Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour feel legendary.
Renaissance means rebirth. Through her show, Beyoncé says she hopes fans will leave feeling renewed and liberated. That is likely how viewers will leave the film, too.
Title: Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé
Distributor: AMC Theaters
Release date: December 1, 2023
Rating: Not rated
Running time: 2 hr 48 min
Content Source: deadline.com