The film, tellingly titled All Of Those Voices, shows Louis’ personal and professional journey, from a normal 18-year-old hanging out with his mates to being in One Direction, to a highly successful solo artist.
The beginning of the film looks particularly at Louis’ feelings about the band breaking up and how he struggled to adjust and find his way post-band. He states that they had begun writing their own songs, something other boybands tend to stay away from and to then have it all taken away was a huge shock to him. He says he felt “like [they] were unstoppable.”
When Zayn left, the dynamics of the band changed and it felt like the beginning of the end for One Direction. When the decision came for One Direction to go on a break, Louis said he was prepared for it, but when the break became permanent, he felt angry and upset as he loved being in the band and felt his identity was intrinsically linked with being a member of the band.
Part of Louis’ struggle to come to terms with his identity post-One Direction comes from his lack of confidence in his skills as a singer and performer and whether they would be good enough for him to make it as a solo artist. This fear likely had roots in how little Louis was allowed to sing on tracks, with his solo sections much shorter than those of Harry, Liam, or Zayn. There’s a heartbreaking moment in the film where Louis is discussing One Direction’s second single, stating that he felt he wasn’t getting his lines in the song quite right. He spent the entire day in the studio practising the song over and over until he felt he had it right, only to find out later on that they didn’t use his vocals for the verse he practised and instead gave that section to Harry.
Later, when he went solo, Louis felt like he would have to work extra hard to prove himself, as he feared he was only known for being a member of the band and that his music wouldn’t be seen as credible as his former bandmates.
The friendship and closeness seen between Louis and his band are highly reminiscent of the bond he had with the other One Direction members during their time as a band. Louis clearly thrives in a group setting, offering and taking support where it’s needed. There was some previously unseen footage of the One Direction days at the beginning of the film where Louis is clearly anxious about going on stage and Harry, seeing his heightened emotions, embraces him to calm and ground him. Later, when Louis is on his solo tour, he can be seen trying to calm his anxieties by hanging out with his band and sharing the experience with them as much as possible. The band actually state within the film that Louis is different from other artists they’ve worked with before, as Louis treats them as equals and not mere employees. They mentioned that on the tour bus, Louis slept in a bunk along with the rest of the band and crew, rather than turning the den into a private bedroom as many artists tend to do. They appreciated that Louis had left that space for them all to hang out in and decompress, showing just how down-to-earth he really is.
Family is clearly special to Louis, as can be seen from how much they feature in the film. He’s the oldest of 6 siblings, his mother having had him when she was just 19. Since it was just the two of them for a large portion of Louis’ childhood, their relationship was extremely close. Louis even mentions he told his mother about losing his virginity right afterwards, their bond was so strong and unique.
The film includes sections where his sisters and grandparents all talk about their relationship with Louis and their point of view on his professional success. The loss of Felicity is handled delicately within the film, with sister Lottie stating how Louis felt particularly responsible, as he had taken over the parenting role after their mother had died in 2016. The fact that Louis lost both his mother and sister only a year after One Direction split made what was already a tragic experience that much worse, as he was now struggling with his consuming grief as well as trying to find his identity in life. I got the impression that he looked to his family, and more specifically his mother, for guidance and also for a sense of belonging. I feel that when Johannah and Felicite died, his core was rocked on several levels, and not just on a basic level of familial loss and grief.
When looking at the relationship between Louis and his fans, we see something truly special. There’s a real codependency there, as it’s not just the fans that want to be close to Louis, but Louis also feels he needs the connection with his fans, stating “You need me and I need you.” Louis speaks highly of his fans, always thanking and praising them for the support and love they give him. When lockdown occurred after only a couple of shows into Louis’ first solo tour, he was surprised to see just how many fans streamed his lockdown concert – so many that he actually achieved a Guinness World Record!
On a lighter note, in terms of fun fan content, there were several moments which need to be mentioned. Before writing this section of my review, I checked back to an article in the March issue on what we would like to see when watching the film. The article mentions five things – pride flags, TPWK/Larry accessories, fan projects, unseen One Direction footage, and barricade Louis. I confess I really didn’t expect much of these, if any, to appear in the film, but I was pleasantly surprised to see four out of five on the list.
I feel it’s important to note that the following list is merely what I noticed when watching the film. There was a lot of going on and emotions were running high, so I may have missed some things.
- Pride flags.
There were many pride flags shown in the tour section of the film. The footage often panned over the crowd, showing fans holding signs and flags as they cheered and sang along with him. The flags weren’t always prominent from what I remember, but they were there.
- TPWK/Larry accessories.
I personally didn’t notice this at all. I did think there might have been a moment where Louis had on a pair of Harry’s merch headphones, but I’m fully aware that I might have mistaken this or even confused it with something else.
However, while I didn’t notice TPWK/Larry accessories, I did notice Harry’s awards on a shelf behind Louis at one point…
- Fan projects.
The only fan project I really noticed was the Kill My Mind lights project. Louis mentioned it directly, stating how the lights were amazing to see. I felt this was special for him to mention, as perhaps this made him realise just how devoted his fans were to him after doubting himself for so long.
- Unseen 1D footage.
There were several tiny snippets of backstage footage from the 1D days, but one in particular really stood out to me – the Harry hug! Louis was half-dressed backstage and clearly anxious about performing. Harry, seeing Louis struggling with this, wrapped him in a lovely tight hug, soothing away Louis’ worries. I’m not going to lie, I actually scream-squeaked during this hug, as it was just lovely and so Larry it was unreal. Also, did I mention the voiceover said the word ‘relationships’ exactly as the hug took place?
- Barricade Louis.
There was so much barricade Louis during the tour footage. It was lovely to see how animated Louis got when talking about how much he loved interacting with fans on the barricade, even though he got pulled at and his clothes would end up in a mess, sometimes ripped! He blatantly says in the film that the barricade is his favourite part of performing and you can really see that in the footage.
I would love to see the film again and check if I missed anything. However, four out of five isn’t a bad ratio.
All Of Those Voices – Fan Review
Three fans who saw the film generously agreed to answer some questions on their impression of the film.
Stacy McWilliams (@authorstace), a long-time fan of One Direction and Louis saw the premiere in London alongside me. She won the tickets through an online competition and generously agreed to take me with her – an experience I can never thank her for enough! When asked about her feelings when she first heard of the film, she confessed she was “excited initially but reticent too, especially when the trailers came out…I feel that the movie wasn’t adequately promoted by Louis’ current team, however, this makes sense since we learned that this wasn’t a project that they were involved in.”
This is an opinion shared by other fans who saw the film, such as @carovanmoveson. She saw the film the week after the premiere in London by herself and was kind enough to agree to answer questions about her experience. She stated that “the promotion of the film was adequate on the basis that it was meant for established fans only… moving forward, possibly with the doc being shown on a streaming platform, I’d like to see a different approach for the promo. Something aimed at the GP but in a cool way.”
Dawn Peace (@DawnieP12) also won tickets to the London premiere and opted to take her teenage daughter along with her. When asked about her favourite part of the film, she said the sections with Oli and Louis’ grandparents in them. This seemed to be a popular aspect of the film, as both Stacy and @carovanmoveson agreed with this, stating “He’s [Louis] clearly exceptionally close with his grandparents and is very loved, although I do have to mention Oli because he brought light relief to some of the painful moments mentioned in the film” and “Because they [grandparents] knew L and his mum all their lives, I thought their insight was more interesting than that of the siblings.”
Additionally, when asked about the themes of loss and grief within the film, @caravanmoveson stated this “was an aspect they absolutely nailed. It was moving but not voyeuristic (mum and sister). The loss of the band is something we all share with Louis…and we know how traumatic it was…They presented this aspect really well…” The other fans agreed, although Dawn mentioned they felt the film didn’t show “the full story about his mum. It was obvious that they were close. But I think we knew that before the film.”
When asked which aspect of the soundtrack to the film they preferred, Stacy immediately answered Copy Of A Copy of A Copy, stating “It’s the only song to be used twice within the film.” One interesting point raised by Dawn was that there were two very specific songs which were not featured within the film – Habit and Only The Brave. These are very well-known Larrie songs and have a very special place within the hearts of Louis’ fans. That they were missing is very telling.
One point the three fans agreed upon was that as much as it was lovely for Liam to support Louis, having Harry or Zayn there would have overshadowed Louis and it was his night to shine.
No Stunts magazine highly appreciates these fans taking the time to answer our questions.