Having known very little about Madonna going into this film screening I thought the film was a very intimate portrait of the difficulties of life as a celebrity in the spotlight and under intense scrutiny. I've only thought of Madonna as this huge cultural icon, so it was fascinating to see her more intimately and to see her inner demons. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the film was when someone compared her to a little girl lost in a storm. A storm is a very fitting description of the chaos of people, fans, and handlers constantly surrounding Madonna. For anyone, that has to be draining.
In the film, Madonna is childlike and playful but at the same time exudes a sexuality both on stage and off similar to that of an edgier Marilyn Monroe. She craves attention and approval but never appeared to be truly happy when she received it, whether from her family, fans, or dancers. I was especially surprised to see just how sexual Madonna was with her dancers. In a sense, Madonna uses the dancers at her disposal and plays with their emotions. This is especially seen in the last scenes where Madonna rotates the male dancers in bed. It seems like they can't say no to her requests because she is Madonna after all. I later read that Madonna's dancer sued her for invasion of privacy and misrepresentation. The film is just as much about Madonna as it is about her relationship with her dancers which is a side most concert films neglect to show. I also read that seeing the dancers be openly gay helped some viewers to come out as gay too. Typically concert films are not taken very seriously as quality films, but Truth or Dare clearly has had a huge social impact and was even screened at Cannes. I think the decision to film in black and white serves the raw tone and exposé quality of the film and humanizes Madonna, generating sympathy for her. The film seems very unedited and we are exposed to things that peel away Madonna's glamorous facade such as seeing her angry, tired, and even dealing with old acquaintances who resurface because she is now famous. Overall, the film has a sad tone to it to which the black and white scheme also contributes and reminds us that people we worship are human too.