Homecoming, in all its inspiring and self-mythologising glory, doesn’t just cement her legacy as a musical force who is proudly and defiantly black and female, but as a woman eager to ensure that others like her will follow in her footsteps, too.
Beyoncé's mere presence in Homecoming demands respect, as she tirelessly strives for creative perfection. She shares that she rehearsed for eight months before Coachella, dedicating four months to her band and four months to her dancers. Despite the challenges of postpartum recovery, she showcases her determination by gradually shedding her baby weight and regaining her strength and confidence. The moment she triumphantly fits into her old tour costume radiates pure joy. Homecoming, which has been predominantly attended by white individuals, served as a stark reminder of its radical nature. Coachella, often associated with affluent individuals, tech enthusiasts, and social media influencers, attracts a crowd of privileged youth who are sponsored by various brands and corporations to be present and photographed in the desert. This yearly gathering is characterized by a significant lack of representation for black attendees, a fact that Beyoncé highlights in her documentary, Homecoming.
The Homecoming movie’s combo of well-edited stage spectacle and behind-the-scenes segments—intimate, hard-fought, occasionally tense, politically explicit, personally specific segments—make it a career-defining document.
It should be said—not unkindly—that there is never a waning doubt that this is Beyoncé’s film. This is not an inherently negative thing, but a fair indication that we as an audience are only going to be granted so much access to her bubble of privacy.
The full thing on Netflix, framed as the fruit of artistic striving, may come close to achieving its epic ambitions, but it’s too soon to tell—the verdict won’t be in until a whole generation of children, homeschooling themselves on its choreography, have come of age.
Homecoming will probably go down as one of the best concert films of all time ... Ultimately, Homecoming feels akin to those filmed Broadway musicals that air on PBS for plebs like me. It's a joyous ride, but a facsimile of the experience.
At almost 150 minutes, the majority of “Homecoming” is what many viewers have already seen (and, perhaps, seen again and again) this time through a greater variety of angles and Instagram-like filters. ... The “intimate” and “candid” moments touted by Netflix are brief in comparison, appearing between long, uninterrupted musical segments from the show. Those moments will be enough to satisfy the overzealous Beyhive (though what Beyoncé-related content doesn’t satisfy the Beyhive?) and probably more casual fans and admirers, too.