Amy Review

Amy (2015) Poster

Cast

Credited cast:
Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse
Herself (archive footage)
Yasiin Bey Yasiin Bey
Himself (as yasiin bey)
Mark Ronson Mark Ronson
Himself
Pete Doherty Pete Doherty
Himself
Mitch Winehouse Mitch Winehouse
Himself (as Mitchell Winehouse)
Blake Fielder-Civil Blake Fielder-Civil
Himself (as Blake Fielder)

Plot- The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.

Review- Hi, I’m Daniel and this is a Dunking of Amy.

Directed by Asif Kapadia (who previously made the award winning Senna,) the film follows the life of Amy Winehouse, from her beginnings in Southgate, all the way up to her tragic death at the tender age of 27. 

Much like Senna, Asif avoids having a narrator, choosing instead to let the images and voice-overs of her friends and family do the work for him. And before our eyes, we watch the Greek tragedy that was Amy Winehouse’s life unfold before us, like  a horrific slow motion car crash.

Now the film has caused some controversy, with her father (Mitch Winehouse, now a singer in his own right) claiming that the film mis-represents him and contains “basic untruths.” Whether that’s true or not, he certainly doesn’t come out of the film well.

I feel that the film was about ten minutes too long, and the first act could have been trimmed a little, but once it hits it’s stride, this is documentary film-making at it’s best. The use of home videos intermixed with professional footage shows the with great effect how professional success and personal misfortune went hand in hand.

However, despite being the focus of the film we hear very little from Amy herself. We hear her friends, manager and family but very little about what she was feeling at the time beyond a few voicemail messages. Clearly I wasn’t expecting narration from beyond the grave, but I feel that hearing from her point of view would have helped the film.

Happily though, this film also shows her songs showing exactly why she was as revered as she was (and still is). I once read that she wanted people to hear her songs and forget their worries for 3 minutes and I would argue that she did that magnificently.  But there’s an underlying sense in this film that it was always going to end in sorrow.

Overall though, this was a powerful documentary about arguably one of the best singers to come out of the UK in a long time.

Rating- See It Now 

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