A portrait of singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes’ life, chronicling the past few years of his rise and his journey.
There is just something so magical and exciting about a documentary centering around a singer or celebrity that you love. Earlier this year, we were blessed with Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift-centered Miss Americana, which is still one of the best films of the year so far thanks to its emotional core and uplifting themes. Coming soon, we’ll be getting a brand new Billie Eilish documentary subtitled The World’s A Little Blurry, which is also a line from her song “ilomilo”.
But I genuinely did not expect to see a full-on documentary about Shawn Mendes, and I don’t know why. He is not only one of the most famous celebrities from Canada, but is one of the most recognizable and beloved singers in the world.
Not only am I a massive fan of Mendes’, but I used to watch him back when he did Vine videos. Seeing his rise from a funny Vine star to a pop sensation was immensely satisfying because it was clear from the beginning that Mendes has some incredible talent, he just needed to reach a wider audience, and in the last few years, he certainly has.
Similar to the aforementioned Miss Americana, Grant Singer’s Shawn Mendes: In Wonder serves as an emotional and wonderfully inspiring story of one man’s journey to excellence. Throughout the film, we see some moments of him performing some of his fan-favorite songs and getting the crowd excited. He truly is a larger-than-life presence on stage, no matter what. Seeing him jam out on his acoustic guitar while belting some amazing vocals is sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear.
But perhaps the film’s greatest strength comes from its honest portrayal of Mendes. Mostly everybody knows him as a worldwide sensation thanks to his beautiful songs, but not many people truly know the ordinary man he is when he is not performing. In Wonder shows him doing some everyday things such as driving home, hanging out with his parents, and relaxing with some friends. It was genuinely refreshing to see a movie portray a megastar in such a simple yet magical light.
Sometimes, In Wonder can feel a little bit too short with a running time of only eighty-three minutes. This documentary felt like it could have benefited from a longer runtime. We get to learn quite a bit about Mendes, but I feel like we could have learned more. Thankfully though, In Wonder is an honest and uplifting documentary that also serves as an excellent prelude to his upcoming album. Long-time fans of the singer are sure to be delighted with this movie.
Shawn Mendes: In Wonder is a beautifully uplifting and inspiring documentary about one man’s journey from an ordinary life to a pop sensation.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Cast: Shawn Mendes
Directed by: Grant Singer
Distributed by: Netflix
Release Date: November 23, 2020
Running Time: 83 minutes