Nothing is more fascinating in modern culture than getting to witness an up close and personal look at someone’s private life, especially when it comes to the lives of artists or celebrities. Amy is a documentary that does just that. It picks a subject that happens to be entertaining to begin with, a pretty young female with a unique voice and a talent for singing. Ultimately, however, the story portrayed here is centered around love.
Asif Kapadia is the director for Amy. He’s won many accolades for his documentaries and Amy has already generated an even higher level of recognition and response compared to his earlier work.
In order to build the narrative for Amy, real life footage from home movies, self-made day-in-the-lifes, performances, and interviews done both antemortem and posthumously by everyone from her friends and family to even her managers and studio operators. There was so much of Amy’s life already on film, it wasn’t difficult to make it seamlessly flow into a full length movie. This is where Amy succeeds. Her life was already interesting. It was a roller coaster of drama and suspense. There was never a dull moment, just like when she vocalized words into song as well as whenever she touched pen to paper. The documentary reveals all the ups and downs Amy went through in her personal life.
It was a surprise to me that so many of the people that were close to Amy Winehouse helped contribute to the making of this film, but after watching Amy, it was easy to understand why. She had a way of making you fall in love with her one way or the other. The tragedy resides in the tease of the love she distributed to others.
There are underlying forces at play in the daily struggle that was being Amy Winehouse that didn’t personify celebrity and many believe it was a fate forced upon her as if it was the world resting on her shoulders. when the fame struck, the downward spirals began. I would also like to give a lot of credit to the producer, James Gay-Rees, who has worked along-side Kapadia on previous projects. There’s something done with the story-telling that blurs the line that divides documentary and autobiography. Amy almost tells the story as if Amy herself is giving her stamp of approval. We know she appreciated the fame, but you get to see how it tears her apart emotionally. And that’s when you fall in love with the tragedy that is Amy Winehouse – through sympathy.
This documentary will either make you love Amy Winehouse, or appreciate Amy Winehouse as a human being. Her lyrics were personal and in-depth sneak peeks into her emotions and most private thoughts. Amy as a documentary is as revealing is the very lyrics Amy wrote for her songs. So be prepared. Because you may fall in love with her only to end up in heartache in the end.
Her story isn’t one without it’s morals as well, for there is a lesson to be learned here. But I won’t give any of that away. You’ll have to see Amy for yourself, hitting theaters nationwide this weekend. You will be surprised how much you can learn from this one human being and the words she wrote and the music she made. Check out the official trailer below for an idea of what you’re in for. Word of advice: Hang on, ‘cause it’s a doozy.