On Nov. 23, Canadian singer-songwriter sensation Shawn Mendes released a documentary about himself on Netflix, titled “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder.” The documentary, directed by Grant Singer, is a beautifully-painted picture of Mendes’ life through a vulnerable lens.
Mendes takes his fans on a journey throughout the entire documentary by showing Pickering, Ontario (the town he grew up in), his family and friends, his first concert, backstage and on-stage footage of Shawn Mendes: The Tour and footage from the making of his upcoming album, “Wonder.”
However, the purpose of the documentary is not to just give fans an insider look at Mendes’ life. It is to reveal his biggest secret: He is, in fact, human. This may seem trivial to most people, as it is blatantly obvious that Mendes is a human being. But that fact holds so much more value than many understand.
Mendes is incredibly successful at what he does. His dedication to his music and his fans is unreal. Yet, with all of that dedication, there comes the striking fear that fans believe he is “Superman.” Mendes never wants to let his fans down, and because of this, he tends to overwork himself to the point where his health is compromised.
Mendes included incredibly vulnerable moments in the documentary where he was faced with a choice between disappointing his fans or injuring his voice severely. While he had no control over this unfortunate event, Mendes still felt he was to blame. He was afraid to show fans that he was not “invincible.”
Aside from sharing those upsetting yet powerful moments with Mendes, there are also plenty of positive moments in the documentary. There are clips where Mendes explains to a fan how to chase her songwriting dreams, clips of fans with tears streaming down their faces while telling Mendes how much they mean to him, clips of Mendes running to hug fans at the end of his tour shows and so much more.
The connection that Mendes has with his fans is undeniable and well-exhibited in the documentary. They keep him grounded. While watching the documentary for his writing process, his everyday life, relationships and tour rituals may be cool, the real reason to watch is to see the personal connection he has with his fans. While Mendes may be unbelievably talented, at the end of the day, he’s “just a guy who loves music.”