by Shreeya Chalikonda ’21
Beyoncé made her directorial debut in the new Netflix documentary “Homecoming” – a concert film about Beyoncé’s journey creating her 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival show, renamed “Beychella.”
Not only was this an amazing show, but Beyoncé also became the first black woman to headline at Coachella since its creation in 1999.
Labeled “the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century” by The New Yorker, Beyoncé has turned into one of the most popular singers in the entire world. Her 2018 Coachella show continues her legacy.
After having to cancel her show at Coachella due to her pregnancy in 2017, she came back the next year better than ever.
She brought the people the best show they’ve ever seen and it ended up being one for the history books.
The show featured some other artist such as Jay-Z, a reunion of Destiny’s Child, and Solange.
The documentary was written, directed, and produced by Beyoncé herself.
Reported to have over 1.1 million views on the first day, April 17, (excluding views on mobile devices and computers) it was very popular.
Especially so in the African American community with over 55% of views in the first seven days coming from African Americans.
It was heavily praised by critics receiving 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average score of 9.05/10.
Several publications such as The Washington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian even call this one of the greatest concert films of all time.
The show was broken up into many segments going back and forth between live footage from her Coachella show and behind the scenes work to prepare for it. In the show, she created her own homecoming.
Her show also paid tribute to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) experience with an entirely African American marching band on her set.
The run time for the film is over two hours and, personally, I think that’s about an hour too long.
While I thought it made the film better to add some background and a personal touch to the show, I thought it was excessive.
However, the message was amazing, and it showed how hardworking and how much of a perfectionist Beyoncé is. She deserves so much recognition for her talent, and it really stood out in the film how much she cares about her art.
I think it was a completely different experience seeing the concert on television. Although it would be life-changing to see Beyoncé live, the documentary captured the whole performance so that we could see every dancer and every little decision that went into creating such a revolutionary concert.
At the same time the movie was released, Beyoncé released “Homecoming: The Live Album” which features 36 tracks, two new tracks, and two spoken word interludes from the Coachella performance.
The release of this album was unexpected and was done to coincide with the film on Netflix. “Homecoming: The Live Album” debuted at number seven on the US Billboard 200.
The album was successful just like its counterpart film, scoring an average of 98 on Metacritic.
Overall, if you’ve always wanted to see Beyoncé in action, watching “Homecoming” is an amazing way to see her in her element.
She really does kill the show, and she sets the bar very high for Coachella performances in the future.