Whitney (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

An in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston.

There’s not a lot to say by way of a narrative here. Most of us have a rough idea of the life story of one of the most famous stars of all time – and it’s a tragic one, obviously.

What Whitney does is fill in a few blanks and gives us an impressive collection of early documentation to pour over – as well as a lot of private video footage. Spliced with current day interviews with Whitney’s mother, brothers and various loved ones, it has the tendency to slip into dullness – during the lower key parts, one of my movie buds started to fall asleep! That said, it isn’t bad at all – and is a must see for anyone who grew up on the sounds of this phenomenal woman.

My personal favourite Whitney period, apart from 80’s Whit is The Bodyguard Whit, and it’s really sad to think about what else she could have achieved if things had been different. She lights up the screen whenever she’s on it – and has so much charisma, it’s almost supernatural.

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Whitney isn’t a fluffy watch by any means and it goes in hard on addiction by showing Whitney’s painful public interviews at the height of her sickness, as well as behind-the-scenes clips of her acting strangely while under the influence of drugs.

Her relationship with Bobby Brown is examined closely and echoes in some ways the journey of Amy Winehouse in Amy. Both were troubled women let down by, and heavily influenced negatively, by the men in their lives. We also learn that Whitney, along with at least one of her brothers suffered abuse as a child, which serves to explain at least a part of her later issues.

This is also cited as one of the reasons Whitney wouldn’t let her daughter out of her sights, even on tour. Some of the footage of poor Bobbi Kristina over the years is hard to stomach – and the later knowledge that she met her own tragic end just a few years after her mother is truly heartbreaking.

All in all a good documentary with a few details most of us might not have known. It does leave you feeling very bummed out though – all three of us left the theater feeling pretty low. But the music – OBVS – is wonderful.

My Rating

3.5/5.

Ps. I rewatched The Bodyguard the day after and it is perfect.

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