The 83-minute film — which premieres on Monday, November 23, and was a special event selection at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival in September — follows the Grammy nominee, 22, as he travels the world on his 2019 tour. Along the way, he reflects on his journey to superstardom by sharing never-before-seen childhood videos, opening up about his relationship with Camila Cabello and teasing what’s to come for his music career, including his soon-to-be-released album, Wonder.
“This is a story about a guy growing up — not the story of a pop star,” director Grant Singer said in a statement. “That distinction is representative in how we approached filming. In many scenes, it’s almost as if you’re beside Shawn, over his shoulder, seeing the world from his vantage point, through his experience in order to immerse the viewer, but also to become closer to him, in an effort to see him more honestly. I wanted to capture a feeling that was heartfelt and exhilarating and allowed the viewer an intimate access to him and the world in which he lives in.”
The documentary kicks off at the very beginning of Mendes’ story, when he developed a love for music in his bedroom in Pickering, Ontario, and eventually became famous on the now-defunct app Vine with covers of songs by Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Adele and other chart-topping artists. At times, he shows vulnerability, wondering as a teen whether he can make it on his own in the industry or if he needs a band to back him. Other times, especially in the more recent footage, he exudes pure confidence on stage in front of 20,000-plus adoring fans.
The “Monster” crooner credits Cabello, 23, as one of the reasons he has been so successful, walking viewers through the first time they met while opening up for Austin Mahone’s 2014 tour (she was a member of Fifth Harmony at the time) to the moment their friendship turned romantic in 2019.
“For the past, like, four years, just being friends and not being able to see each other very often to finally being able to be together, she was always there to look out for me as a human being,” Mendes gushes in the film. “She’s got my back, and I think that’s what your partner is for.”
Scroll down for five things we learned from Shawn Mendes: In Wonder!