Director: Ramona S. Diaz
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey is about Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from obscurity to be the frontman for the legendary band Journey.
I wasn’t actually aware of this story before I came across the documentary on Netflix and at first glance it sounds ridiculous. This man in the Philippines was singing covers and his friend was uploading the videos to YouTube, which a member of the band saw, and flew him out for auditions. It sounds unbelievable, yet it happened, and the film follows the journey (pun not intended) and how Arnel adjusted to the new life that was thrust upon him.
The content of the film works in multiple levels. It goes behind the scenes as the band goes on tour, it offers biographical details about the history of the band and Arnel, how their paths intertwined, and it shows the impact that Arnel’s arrival had on the band and its fans. It was good to see the injection that Arnel gave them, and how he quickly won over the fanbase but also even increased the band’s standing in the world and expanded their fanbase. But I also liked how it showed the struggles that Arnel went through, the doubts and fears, and the temptations that came with his new fame. He came across as really grounded and humble, and it showed that there’s more to the lifestyle than just partying all the time.
It was also interesting to see the things that Journey had been through over the years and how they had changed with the times, and how they worked with their new frontman. It’s really a great story and one that makes for a good documentary. If you love rock n’ roll fairytales then this is definitely one that you should check out.