Beyonce. A name that strikes even the most talented of people to the ground with sheer amazement. A triple threat. A mother. A woman. An icon. To add to the list now is also the title of filmmaker. Thanks to Netflix’s deal with the legendary singer, Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella headline set was brought to our TV screens around a year later, along with an album to match. Called Homecoming, it’s supposedly a celebration of everything Beyonce stands for – but did she bring it home, or did she miss the mark?
Homecoming is an amalgamation of everything Beyonce stands for. It’s a celebration of black culture, of talented black artists, and of her love for her fans. As Coachella’s first-ever black female headliner, Beyonce definitely had a difficult road ahead of her. Armed with her dancers, her band, and a slew of special guests, this film is a recollection of just how Queen Bey brought it home.
Now, it’s likely that most people will just assume that this is your average tour film, which just shows the actual tour itself. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s true that Beyonce doesn’t deny the audience exactly what they want – the rip-roaring, energy-filled and spine-tingling talents of Mrs Carter – but it’s interspersed with behind the scenes clips, family videos, parts that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye.
This may seem a little bit gimmicky, as though Beyonce (of all people) was trying to seem like she was normal. But the thing is, as you watch more and more, you realise that this is a normal woman, who has worked for everything she has and who has extraordinary talent, that she is lucky enough to be able to share with the world. Part of the film focusses on her recent pregnancy with her two twins, Rumi and Sir, and how she handled rehearsals so quickly after giving birth.
Part of it shows how she wanted to give a platform to other people of colour with extreme talent, interviewing a few of them and showing their performances in full. All of it, however, is peppered with the intense feelings of pride, of happiness, and of love. You can tell that she loves her job, her family, her fans and that this movie is, primarily, a love letter to them.
Then comes the actual performance itself. Split over two weekends, you get a taste of what each weekend was like. The energy that swelled from that stage, the absolutely huge crowd, the backing dancers, the band, the crew…it’s as though someone zoomed in really closely on the molecular formation of Redbull and then choreographed a festival around it. It’s buzzing with unadulterated joy, pure excitement, and an overwhelming sense of awe. A woman with such social status and an almost mythological amount of talent is stood on a stage in front of thousands of people who can barely believe their eyes. It really is a sight to behold.
The performance, as wonderful as it may be, is just that. It’s the bog standard tour DVD, but on steroids because it’s led by Queen Bey. Even though it has the potential to be boring, it’s not because of how much fun everyone is having. Every song, every dance routine, even every costume change, garners a huge scream and shout from the audience. Every smile Beyonce gives, every note she hits, every song she sings, is met by masses of applause, tears and even (at one point) fainting. It’s a look at the phenomenon of Beyonce Knowles-Carter close up, and it’s a really, really good one at that.
What elevates this to an even higher pedestal are the guests that are brought out, and the band themselves. From Jay-Z to Solange to the actual, real-life Destiny’s Child, she puts on a show that cannot be forgotten. The music that backs it up is equally as impressive, with a huge high school band playing all of her most beloved songs with a character that really takes them to a new level. It brings the excitement of Homecoming to the silver screen, and truly earns its title of Homecoming.
Overall, this movie is a whirlwind of true talent, of true fun and of pure entertainment. Without a doubt, it’s a two hour and 17-minute movie that seems to fly by. Without a doubt, Queen Bey has done it again and will continue to do it until the end of time.