Shawn Mendes’s documentary on Netflix, In Wonder, was released at just the right time: under a month before Mendes’s newest album, Wonder.
The documentary was a combination of little moments that were captured throughout Mendes’ entire life–from clips of him at a young age simply singing in his bedroom to him rocking out on his guitar in massive stadiums full of energetic, cheering fans.
The amount of inspirational quotes, speeches, and song lyrics that Mendes says throughout the whole presentation is enough to fill a lifetime.
Overall, the film was put together especially well in terms of flow, transition, picture, and content. Not one section of it seemed like wasted words; they contributed very well to the life and music career that Mendes has such a passion for. The flow between topics and video clips kept me so engaged and allowed me to make connections to the feelings that were communicated.
A little detail that I, as a fan, enjoyed were the sneak peeks of his soon-to-be-released songs in his new album, Wonder. The documentary showed clips of Mendes with his fellow songwriters and managers working on songs that I didn’t recognize. I quickly realized that these were raw lyrics of new songs he was writing for his upcoming album. I thought this was the perfect touch because it would definitely make his audience more excited to hear his finalized songs.
The documentary gave a glimpse into Mendes’s personal life. I loved getting to see his relationship with his sister, Aaliyah, in action and how they are able to stay close despite his hectic schedule. Even the simple things they do together were enough to keep their relationship strong.
He is shown picking her up from school and driving her home and chatting in his childhood kitchen with his parents. I really liked how it gave the background of how he was raised and who his family really is.
Camila Cabello also plays a huge role in Mendes’s life as his girlfriend. Naturally, she was featured in the documentary as well. Indulging his audience into their relationship and how it correlates to the songs he writes, Mendes states, “Yeah, it’s about you. Everything’s about you. They’ve always been about you. Like, every song I ever wrote.”
This line alone was enough to put a face behind the romantic, wistful songs that Mendes writes. Not only that, but it exposes how deep and intimate Cabello and Mendes’s relationship is. Their love for each other is expressed through both words and actions in the candid moments they spend together playing around with music.
The documentary did a phenomenal job of sneaking in very personal and often hidden aspects that make Mendes who he is today. One of the personal details that Mendes includes in his life to keep him sane is a manifestation journal. In it, pages and pages were filled with handwritten lines like, “I sing with no tension.”
Following the theme of being raw and intimate, the cancellation of Mendes’s Sao Paulo concert in Brazil was explained and dissected in detail. Due to getting a sinus infection along with laryngitis, Mendes’s vocal cords swelled to the point where it was not safe for him to sing without the risk of damaging his voice.
For a singer who thrives off the energy and support of his audience, he was devastatingly heartbroken that his show in Sao Paulo had to be canceled. I felt true secondhand sadness for the singer as he mourned over his inability to sing his heart out for his beloved fans. Anyone watching can clearly tell that Mendes absolutely resents disappointing his fans. It was painful to see how sad Mendes felt due to the cancellation of one of his shows.
The honesty expressed throughout the film is incredible; it highlights and exemplifies Mendes’ life on and off the stage. The audience is taken back to the beginning, brought along on the journey, and is given a hopeful future for Mendes’s music.
Every moment in the documentary was a true tribute to Mendes’s evolving career so far.