Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald gives viewers a new look into the life and death of Whitney Houston with his new documentary “Whitney.”
The film follows the rise and fall of Houston, who suffered from addiction, a tough marriage and a tragic upbringing. It focuses more on the death of Houston than her life.
The movie delves into her depressed psyche as her life begins to spin out of control. Beginning with her parents’ divorce, Houston often felt isolated and only wanted to be normal.
The documentary, of course, features some of Houston's best performances such as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and her 1991 Super Bowl performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The movie also discusses the cultural importance of her role in “The Bodyguard.” Starring alongside Kevin Costner, it was one of the first movies to prominently feature an interracial couple.
What shocked everyone in the theater, though, was when her assistant Mary Jones revealed Houston was molested as a child by Dee Dee Warwick. Warwick was Houston’s cousin and died in 2008. Many people criticize the revelation was exploitation, and it’s only purpose was to add a shock value to a story everyone is already familiar with.
I believe, however, the movie tied up loose ends. It offered answers to question that so many of her fans have had since the artist’s death. It proves the theory that Houston had such a great life wrong. Instead, it paints her as a woman who suffered a great tragedy at such a young age and only wanted a normal life.
You go into the movie knowing how it’ll end, but you still find yourself optimistic and naive, hoping she’ll turn her life around before it’s too late. However, just like in real life, it ends with Houston dead in her bathtub. Years later, her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, would die in an extremely similar manner.
Even if you’re not interested in Houston, I still highly recommend watching the documentary. If you’re not a fan of her before watching it, you will be after.