For the past 12 years, the world watched pop superstar Justin Bieber be thrust into the spotlight and evolve before our eyes. In the blink of an eye, a young boy from Canada turned into an absolute industry legend. Growing up in the spotlight is never easy, and Bieber did succumb to immense media scrutiny during his career. However, Bieber will never shy away from inviting the world into his life. In his new Amazon Prime documentary, the doors are wide open once again, welcoming all fans and critics to indulge and sing along. We’ve seen “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and “Justin Bieber’s Believe”; now we welcome “Justin Bieber: Our World” to the collection of Bieber Time Films.
As the heavy vault door closes on the Purpose Tour era and the “Believe” on-screen era, the door of “Our World” opens up. The documentary portrays a whole new side of Bieber and his career, as it depicts the final 30 days leading up to Bieber’s big New Year’s Eve performance at the Beverly Hilton Rooftop.
Amid all the chaos and stress that goes into putting a show of this caliber together, the documentary illustrates even more obstacles faced due to the current state of the world. “Our World” is more than just a concert film — it’s a time capsule. It gives us a clear glimpse inside show business and the new complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The film also details the major implications of the virus and how this new reality altered the way fans listen to their favorite artists up close. Bieber touches on how the pandemic affected many people’s ability to work; he also expresses gratitude that he’s been able to work during the pandemic: In the film, he says, “I feel like it’s a big blessing for us.”
Due to the pandemic, rising COVID-19 cases and California’s status as a major hot spot for the virus, the star’s team needed to get creative when constructing the show while also taking public health guidelines into account. So, Bieber would take the stage to perform for 240 guests at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where everyone can be socially distanced on balconies, and the rest of the world could tune in safely via livestream.
Pulling off a show like this isn’t a one-man job, even though fans typically only see the star (and the dancers) when they look up at the stage. “Our World” makes sure to pay homage to all the names of the unseen people involved in creating the on-stage magic. B Harv, Bieber’s musical director/bass player who has worked with the star for over 10 years, described being a part of the Bieber dream team as “being a part of something that’s touching so many people in the world.”
Other members of Bieber’s squad gushed about how being a part of the team impacted their lives. While preparing for the big show, two backup dancers exclaimed, “We’ve dreamed of moments like this!”
Bieber’s long-term team members also express how impressed they are by the growth of the star, not just as a performer but also as an individual. “Our World” shows how Bieber has stepped into a real leadership role over the years. This is depicted clearly when viewers see the star run his own dance rehearsals when his choreographer contracts the COVID-19 virus.
“Our World” is also an update on Bieber’s daily life with Mrs. Hailey Bieber. Showing the newlywed couple in a vlog-style format, viewers get to see the Biebers on their typical morning walk and how they dealt with being newlyweds during the height of the pandemic. The audience also gets to see Bieber with his family, which was refreshing and allowed for a closer look at Bieber offstage. For the very first time, the world can see him in a different light — as a husband.
Although this was Bieber’s first full performance in almost three years, he’s no stranger to the stage. The singer performed songs from his recently released album “Changes” and newer singles. For die-hard Beliebers, he also performed past hits such as “Sorry,” “Boyfriend” and, of course, his smash hit “Baby.” These Bieber classics get an extra dash of spice; each performance is accompanied by all-new dance moves and accessorized with dazzling light sequences.
But it was Bieber’s emotional performance of his song “Lonely” that really moved the audience. The song details the agonizing growing pains and depression he experienced growing up in the white-hot Hollywood spotlight. This part of the film is especially tear-jerking, as it brings Bieber’s journey full circle and steers his image away from what many believed to be a “Hollywood Trainwreck.” An image of a 15-year-old Bieber is shown next to his current self while he sings about what he was experiencing. This moment, while surely one of the more melancholy moments of the film, portrays one of the strongest messages of all to the audience: “You don’t know what somebody else is going through.”
As “Our World” enters its final minutes, we watch as Bieber and all the members of his hardworking team anticipate the final moments before the clock strikes midnight. When the countdown hits zero, the stage erupts with cheers and champagne. Welcoming a new year of music and abundant possibilities, Bieber ensures that he expresses his immense gratitude for the life he lives. He says, “Sometimes I just have to pinch myself. I just feel really blessed.”
“Our World” is a beautiful depiction of the trials and tribulations of stardom. It is a heartwarming continuation of Justin Bieber’s decade-long journey as one of our world’s biggest stars.