Centred around Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s remarkable halftime performance at Super Bowl LIV, this documentary unpacks a flurry of behind-the-scenes information, while offering an intimate look at J.Lo’s upbringing, milestones and evolution as an artist.
At first glance, it feels like there wouldn’t be enough content to warrant a documentary based around J.Lo’s Super Bowl performance. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s plenty of intriguing bits of info we didn’t know about the enormous production. It touches on the struggles and dilemmas that J.Lo faced as she went head-to-head with some of the higher-ups at the NFL. Whether it be the fightback against the cages or the concerns about runtime, everything it covers in regards to the Super Bowl preparation is great – but it’s the deeper look at J.Lo’s life that really stands out the most.
For me, the most intriguing element of the documentary is its exploration of J.Lo’s acting roles and how her time in film really shaped her career, despite being overlooked in comparison to her singing talents. It delves heavily into her roles in both Selena (1997) and Hustlers (2019), bookending over 20 years of growth and maturity, and contrasting the woman she was and the woman she’s become. J.Lo explaining how her Golden Globe losses became pivotal moments in her life, giving her greater perspective on her global influence, is such an insightful element of the narrative that only makes her that much more loveable. Furthermore, the documentary presents a really personal look into a pocket of J.Lo’s early life and upbringing – outlining what she stands for and how that’s influenced her decision-making.
All in all, why I really enjoyed this documentary is that it’s a humanising look at the powerhouse that is J.Lo, showing that behind all of that immense musical talent is a vulnerable person just like the rest of us. It packs a great deal of emotion, especially when it goes into how the media and tabloids have ripped into J.Lo, her relationships, race and daily life. It’s really eye-opening to see the other side of these ‘seemingly harmless’ jokes and how they can impact the recipient when they become relentless.
Perhaps my one gripe, albeit a very minor one, is that this documentary makes it feel like Shakira was a bit of an afterthought in the selection process and planning of the halftime performance. Obviously the documentary is about J.Lo, hence why it focuses more on her part of the performance, but it naturally has that somewhat alienating effect on Shakira’s involvement. It’s more of an observation than a criticism, but it certainly impacted my enjoyment every so slightly.
In the end, Halftime is an interesting and entertaining watch, worthwhile for anyone who is a fan of the one and only Jennifer Lopez. I loved the depth of documentary – how it covers so many elements of J.Lo’s life, from her film roles and awards losses to her upbringing and what she stands for, and shows how they contributed to and culminated in one of the greatest Super Bowl performances of all time. Sitting at just about an hour and a half, this is a very easy and insightful watch for any and every music fan.