I don’t know if we have become immune to celebrities allowing us into their lives due to social media but what Charli XCX attempts here did not really hit the mark with me. Might sound harsh of me to say
That is not to say that there are not interesting moments here because there are. The whole idea is that Charli XCX, an established pop singer, uses the isolation of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown to challenge herself to write and record an entire album in a mere 40 days. Not only that, but she brings her loyal fans from the LGBTQ+ community into the process. Pulls back the curtain on the pressure, elation, frustration, and all the other emotions that go into the recording of an album. While doing so we see the singer’s bouts of self-doubt and anxiety. And all of this is going to be filmed.
Besides the access to her process of writing the album (How I’m Feeling Now) and her mental health struggles, a cool part of the documentary is how she includes the Angels (her LGBTQ+ fans) in the production of the album. Seemingly aware that like her, during the lockdown/pandemic feelings of isolation are hitting an all-time high. That members of vulnerable communities are even more at risk of suffering from mental health issues and had no one to turn to. So, she and, once together, the other Angels became their life preserver to cling to in the storm.
All that is well documented and conveyed and yet it did not reach out and grab me. I was often bored. Directed by the video directing team of Bradley & Pablo (Bradley Bell and Pablo Jones-Soler), there seems to be an empty middle to the doc. A film that is about being human yet it is without humanity.
As for the creative process, little is revealed. We don’t learn how she really writes her music or lyrics. That was a head scratcher for me. It did make me think about how technology and social media have advanced such that artists can now interact or connect with their fans. I think even post-pandemic that this will stay.
This is a documentary that only hard core fans will be interested in. If not, it won’t capture you.
Charli XCX: Alone Together is now available on Prime Video.