FOR THE RECORD is an MTV documentry, recorded over the course of 60 days, starting 5th September 2008, the day before Britney attended the MTV Video Music Awards [She won 3 awards for work on her 'Blackout' album].
The documenty's main focus is in following Britney as she prepares for her sixth album; In the recording studio [she actually does have an agreeable voice without adding all the vocal effects. She's certainly no Mariah, but she is capable of out-singing a lot of other pop acts like Chezza or Katy Perry], selecting dancers for her music videos, shooting the music videos [for 'Womanizer' and 'Circus]' and making a live appearance at a Madonna concert.
While it interesting to see how a celebrity puts in their hours of work, almost everyone will watch this hoping for some insight on her devestating mental breakdown...
To her credit she does answer every question asked her [including head-shaving, Justin Timberlake and second husband Kevin Federline], most of her answers are vague, sometimes rambling and they don't really scratch below the surface of the chosen subject. I've watched the DVD a few times now, and can't decide if she's trying to protect the last bit of privacy she has left or if she is still lost.
Among the non-answers there are a few that are are clear and quite heartbreaking, like when she talks about living under the conservationship of her father: "There's no excitement, there's no passion...I have really good days, and then I have bad days. Even when you go to jail, you know there's the time when you're gonna get out. But in this situation, it's never ending. It's just like Groundhog Day every day."
To be totally honest - being Britney Spears doesn't seem exciting, it seemsempty and sad: Her own house is always swarming with people, all of her 'friends' are people she works with or family members, she is followed everywhere by abusive paparazzi and her Dad even follows her to work.
The scene that sticks with me is about half-way through the documentry when Britney is at the 'Womanizer' video shoot; "I'm angry, I'm really angry. I'm horribly angry" she says, whilst everyone there laughs at her. She broadens her clearly fake grin and tiredly sighs "I'm smiling right now because I think it's funny that you are all laughing". Later her eyes well up as she tells the interviewer "When I tell people how I'm feeling it's like they hear me, but they're not really listening. They hear what they want to hear".
That really makes me question if she's making music again because she really feels ready to or if people around her are shoving her back into the limelight. All of the media's crazy stories and conspiracy theories about Britney being some sort of prisoner don't seem quite so insane now.
This isn't easy viewing, but is something I highly recommend owning; When you're next enviously eyeing up a celebrity's seemingly charmed life in a magazine, you'll consider this and then the lifestyle won't seem so great.
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The Region 2 release has no bonus features, although the documentry contains eight minutes of extra footage that wasn't shown on the TV broadcast.
The US release comes with a bonus CD containing six single remixes; Womanizer" (Kaskade Remix) "Womanizer" (Benny Benassi Extended Remix) "Womanizer" (Junior Club Remix) "Circus" (Diplo Alt Clown Remix) "Circus" (Tom Neville's Ringleader Remix) "Circus" (Villains Remix).