Not a Bad Guy
If there’s one artist that took the music world by storm in 2019, it was Billie Eilish. Bagging herself four Grammys and delivering a well-received debut album from critics and audiences alike, the 17 year old completely shook the proverbial pop landscape.
Billie’s meteoric rise to pop superstardom is nothing short of extraordinary, and Apple TV’s latest documentary serves as a fly on the wall experience to see how Billie works, complete with mood swings, fears and euphoric highs.
The World’s a Little Blurry is not for newcomers. Those with no knowledge on who Billie Eilish is or what her past accomplishments are will almost certainly come away from this bloated 150 minute documentary a little disappointed.
Instead, this documentary serves as a tribute to fans across the world, showing intimate details of Billie Eilish’s album tour, complete with thoughts on fans, promoters and her music in general.
In a way, The World’s A Little Blurry is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s a commendable docu-film that manages to show the real Eilish, complete with numerous outbursts about how she hates song-writing. She constantly bemoans her own talent and bickers quite a lot with Finneas, her brother.
There’s some pretty neat shots of Billie’s diary too, with sketches, doodles and very specific ideas about how she wants herself to be portrayed in music videos and as an artist. All this stuff is great, and coupled with the very-welcome inclusion of mental health and Billie’s own personal demons, help to give an intimacy to the artist that may not otherwise have been possible with a different style.
At the same time though, this documentary is long and certainly takes its sweet time to get to the best material. The editing chops between Billie on tour in various places, complete with falls, shin splints and botched vocals, while cutting back home to show her working on creating different songs. These moments are quite good in truth, although given the film’s bizarre Intermission midway through the picture, gives a sense of trying a bit too hard to be artistic when it doesn’t always need to.
It also doesn’t help that by the end of the documentary, you don’t really learn a whole lot about Billie’s life and upbringing. There’s a tiny mention of her time dancing and a couple of off-hand references to her homeschooling but beyond that, this documentary mainly focuses on her time in 2019. All of this leads on to the aforementioned Grammy wins to close things out on a high.
While there’s nothing inherently bad about this documentary, there’s nothing outstanding or great either. If you’re new to Billie Eilish or have never heard of her work, this doc is definitely not going to fill in the blanks. Instead, this is a love letter to Billie’s fans, with all the highs, lows and middling moments of mundanity along the way.