The first full trailer for Justin Bieber’s concert-documentary Believe has arrived.
With a mandate to entertain and a previous vow to “tell everything” about one of the world’s most successful, yet polarizing pop idol’s in history, it arrives on the heels of the 19-year-old’s unprecedented year of popping headlines and a spectrum of scandals.
Latest gifts to the sleepless news cycle include a brothel visit, sleeping video, “vandalism” charge, yet more unhappy paparazzi, untimely endings to shows, and a spot of accidental Argentine flag “disrespecting,” although oddly whoever dumped it onto the stage in the first place seems exempt from this.
A lot is riding on Believe. In short, it’s Bieber’s best chance to gain back some of the ground lost in 2013. The singer recently tweeted “everything is answered” in the film, longtime manager Scooter Braun expressed identical promises in a recent Billboard interview.
The trailer mixes Believe tour footage with the real. We revisit Justin’s run-in with a Brit paparazzo and hear the teen talking about living his life on blast. He talks about the fans — “They’re who I do this for” — while Usher says, “You can’t have a normal life if you’re a superstar.” There’s lots of back-in-the-day Bieber (always good), behind the scenes Believe album sessions, family, crew, pals, and a blunt question from returning director Jon M. Chu, who asks Justin:
“We know we’ve seen it time and time again. A young pop star makes it to the top only to crash. Are you aware that you could be the next trainwreck?”
Despite a mere two year gap between Chu’s first Bieber feature — 2011’s mega-grossing Never Say and Believe — for the helmer there was more “story to tell.”
“It’s beyond headlines and blog posts of speculation,” he told MTV News.
“This is the truth of what I saw and what I know of him, as well as from his own mouth of what he’s been experiencing, and I think that’s a compelling story to tell. That’s why I wanted to jump in again.”
The tropes of Bieber’s inspirational story, though many would argue it’s been damaging, are well known. Discovery on YouTube in 2007 by Braun, development for two years with Usher now in the picture, break out My World album in 2009, and a lightning ascent. Chu insists Believe progresses the arc and is a story “about a boy becoming an artist, a boy becoming a man.”
With a fair amount of stirring strings and statements urging fans to “Believe in yourself / no matter how hard things get everything is going to be alright,” the trailer delves deep and even shows the Biebs tearing up at one point in a humanizing moment.
Its fashionable, even expected these days, to scoff at what Bieber represents and everything he does. But for a boy who has never attended a day of High School, though he attained his diploma, his resume is impressive.
A Diamond Award for the highest digital sales of a single in history with 2010 signature hit “Baby,” five albums (including acoustic) that topped Billboard’s album chart before he was 19, a fortune north of $150 million, more awards, investments, a multi-instumentalist and an involved supporter of charities, and as his ongoing “Music Mondays” series has proved — a viable, maturing, evolving talent.
Bieber has issues, as this year clearly demonstrates. But his most recent defender, former Believe tour mate Ariana Grande, recently told Reuters,
“He’s doing the same thing as every other boy in the world right now. He’s just under a microscope and he’s being scrutinized by people who don’t know him. I know him and he’s a good person. He really is. He’s a nice person.”
She added, “He’s a good guy, and he doesn’t deserve what he’s going through.”