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Home Movies Reviews ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’ Documentary Review: Exploits Pink’s Music More Efficiently

‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’ Documentary Review: Exploits Pink’s Music More Efficiently

The documentary is about the pop star’s new life, one in which she balances her commitment to her children with the demands of her prolific career

Ritika Kispotta - Mon, 24 May 2021 13:12:11 +0100 637 Views
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The film, directed by Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman), is the middle child of a recent slate of concert documentaries. It’s not as confessional (although it aspires to be) as Demi Lovato’s Dancing With the Devil or Justin Bieber’s Seasons, nor does it dazzle with its technical insight into her tour performances like Beyoncé’s Homecoming. But it’s endearing — a love letter to the fans who’ve watched the musician grow up, and to her children, who might not remember all the details about their badass mother.

The doc follows Pink during the summer of 2019 as she jets through Europe on her “Beautiful Trauma” world tour with her kids and husband, Carey Hart, a former professional motocross competitor. Its opening moments successfully juxtapose two sides of the musician: the fearless performer swinging on a chandelier-like structure above a crowded stadium in a black glitter leotard, and the busy mother ushering her family from one city to the next.

All I Know So Far brings us out on tour with veteran singer and performer Pink on the string of European stadium dates that surrounded her two-night stand at London’s Wembley Stadium in June 2019. It puts us in the private jets, ground transportation, ritzy hotel suites, and expansive backstage areas where Pink lives her life when she’s not out there doing the damn thing, which for the Beautiful Trauma World Tour included the ever-adventurous star swinging from a gilded, oversized chandelier and boogying up and down hundreds of cubic feet of ramp staging as a full band complete with the rhythm section, keys, guitar, cello/violin, and a phalanx of backup singers and dancers converted hits from the Beautiful Trauma record, catalog material, and a handful of covers into full-throttle, shout-along anthems. From “What About Us” and “Perfect” to “Just Like a Pill” and, of course, “Get the Party Started,” All I Know So Far‘s live material sizzles with ecstatic joy.

The live stuff operates at a high level here, but it’s that message of empowerment and inclusion that Pink seems to want to emphasize. After a sequence where she reads fun tweets from fans while prepping in the makeup chair, the doc cuts to a quieter moment back at the hotel and stays with the singer as she reads a touching letter from a fan in its entirety. “That’s the only reason I still do this,” she tells her husband, “because chasing the carrot game is stupid. Someone is in their kitchen somewhere saying ‘Yep, I feel that, too,’ and they want to fight it out another day.” And after 25 years in the game, if Pink is still inspired to make her fans’ day, then that’s probably fuel enough for the former gymnast to fearlessly hook up her aerial harness to a series of carabiners and cables and go soaring hundreds of feet into the air above Wembley, and all of that while singing the entire time. It’s a feat of explosive performance that serves as the crown jewel of this entertaining, revealing documentary.

What keeps it interesting is that Pink, even while playing up the parenting, has the highly visible perfectionism that, in rock docs, is a form of charisma. The film kicks off with Pink in concert singing “Get the Party Started” while hanging from a chandelier that’s like a giant swimming pool float. And she goes on to make a touching connection between the baroquely executed grandeur of her shows and the fact that her single mother, an ER nurse who could scarcely afford it, would take her from Pennsylvania into New York City once a year to see “Les Miz” or “La Cage aux Folles” or “The Phantom of the Opera.” Those shows spoke to her, as did a Cher concert in which she focused on Cher’s gymnastic dancers, twirling and unfurling in the air, rolling down ribbons, and began to wonder why she couldn’t do the same thing.

The songs are the golden nuggets you expect, all performed with thrilling sonic clarity. “Beautiful Trauma” is a gorgeous fable of bad romance, one that became an instant anthem; the crowd chants along with it. The deliciously syncopated “Hustle” is an aggro party propulsion machine. A disappointment: The film finds no room for “Just Give Me a Reason,” the broken-love duet Pink recorded with Nate Ruess that might just be her greatest song. I’ve always wondered how personal the lyrics are, and you can only guess whether Pink and her husband, who seems such a finely oiled unit, ever came to such a blasted moment of truth. You’d guess that they did, but watching “All I Know So Far,” you don’t see it. You just see a happy and functional rock ‘n’ roll family, close the way that any family is, only with 90 million records sold.

All I Know So Far might not fully captivate those without a deep familiarity with Pink, but it will charm existing fans. The film announces a different stage in her life, one in which she’s harnessing her defiant spirit and persistent optimism to show the world that, yes, she’s still a rock star.

Final Score – [8/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)

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