Sometimes all you need is a few hours in a theater, to get inspired. Something similar is the feel to Ramona S. Diaz docufeature, Don’t stop belivin’: Every mans Journey. The documentary that took five years to be made revolves around the long and final search of Journey’s new lead singer after the legendary Steve Perry resigned in 1998.
The film documents, Arnel Pineda, a poverty stricken Pinoy from Manila, Philippines, and his journey form a boy who sang at funerals and street corners to support his family, to his success as a lead singer for the all American boy band “Journey”. Last but not the least; it is also a story about the struggle one faces in life, before one achieves something out of it.
An inspirational film that leaves you with warm feelings of hope, faith and thankfulness for all the blessing you’re endowed with. This positive vibe comes from the protagonist of the movie Arnel, whose humble nature and down to earth character binds the whole movie together. You honestly don’t need to be a diehard Journey fan to love this movie, because the movie doesn’t just speak to the fans of the band, but it speaks to the entire mass, enlightening them that, there is always hope you keep believing in yourself and your capability.
In some ways this movie also talks about the role of social media in today’s generation. Why I say so is because, just like Arnel, many other singers in today’s industry have come from the YouTube videos. The documentary clearly states that, in the absence of social media, the band would have been unaware of the talent they discovered.
Everything is great about the movie, the narrative is subjective, the music is soothing, the script is well documented and there was no problem in understanding the theme of the movie also. But the one thing which bothers me, is the fact that the actual story matter of the movie, that is the success story of Arnel, was about 45 minutes in compared to the 1hour 30mins, that it was played for, after which the filmmakers shows a brief history of Journey (pre-Pineda) and scenes from their older tours which faulted away from the central aspect of the movie and was vaguely relevant. Because that part of the movie a fan would know and a non fan would eventually do a Web search or may not even be interested.
All in all, it is a good watch, because from the first shot of Arnel till the end, you will not be able to help but wonder, how a boy who gained an overnight success, be so humble at heart, or is it because of his humbleness he is ‘someone‘ today?
By, Srijita Chattopadhyay