The first 15 minutes of My Mind & Me are quite jarring for viewers. The film opens up with what looks like a very successful costume fitting and rehearsal from Selena Gomez. The actress, singer, and philanthropist is gearing up for a huge world tour and things seem to be going well. After singing to friends and staff, Gomez comes off the stage upset and spirals into her emotions while dumbfounded friends are confused as to what is going on.
Initially, Selena Gomez’s complaints seem petty- the costumes don’t feel right, she doesn’t like the way she looks, and is worried that record executives won’t like the show. It’s such a whiplash for the viewers, that it’s easy to think that Gomez is having a tantrum but in reality depression, anxiety, and physical pain from lupus has made her suffer a breakdown.
Within a few weeks, Gomez cancels her tour and checks herself into a mental health facility where she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Over the course of one and a half hours, we see Selena Gomez attempting to keep up the pace of her career while dealing with the stresses of the entertainment world and a body and mind that often fight against her goals. There’s a particularly relatable portion of the film where Gomez is clearly exhausted and frustrated with the back-to-back interviews and again, gut instinct may point to ungratefulness but the camera trains on the emotional rollercoaster Gomez is clearly going through. It quickly becomes clear to viewers, that it’s not a celebrity just “having a bad day.”
The film isn’t just about Gomez’s struggles with her mental health, the few bright spots we see of Gomez’s happiness are when she’s working with a beloved charity or interacting with neighbors of her childhood home. But those moments don’t last long and easily one of the most harrowing aspects of the film is Gomez’s experiences with the paparazzi. They crowd her and hurl the most embarrassing and intrusive questions about Selena’s ex-boyfriends.
My Mind & Me is directed by Alex Keshishian and relies on six years of footage from Gomez’s life while there aren’t many interviews with friends and family, the documentary gets a bit clunky with the black and white portions of Gomez posing with her intimate diary entries as the soundtrack.
My Mind & Me is important because it shines a light on Gomez’s journey as a young woman dealing with the pressures of the entertainment world plus some intense health issues. It’s solely her story told in her own words which is almost a relief since the subjects discussed in the film are so sensitive.
Rating: 4/5 stars