My friends and I watched the new doc Whitney  last week because we love all things Whitney Houston, but we were TOTALLY unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster that we were about to embark on.
Everyone knows about Houston’s hardships with fame, marriage and drugs, but director Kevin Macdonald documents her journey from a young shy choir girl to one of best-selling artists of all time, the “Queen of Pop”, and reveals secrets never known to the public until now. Intercut with small montages of real life 80s America footage – the political climate, racial tensions and capitalist agenda – Macdonald helps to enrich the film’s atmosphere with some much-needed context that you simply can’t get from a skim read of her Wikipedia page. We’re not just witnessing Houston’s rise to fame. We’re experiencing her world. With interviews from close family, friends and Houston herself, we see her insane life unfold before us through conflicting accounts, making us question who is to blame here for Houston’s struggles.
However, one thing is certain…any Houston hit that came on had us excitedly singing along, as with many other cinemagoers. From the “How Will I Know” opener to the true bop of the century “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” to the emotional live concert rendition of “I Will Always Love You”, you can’t argue the breathtaking presence of Houston’s voice. She really gave me goosebumps. Macdonald also gives you the privilege to see her face in absolute HD and it’s MAGNIFICIENT to say the least (a reason to see this in the cinema, please and thank you).
We’re a spoiler-free zone here, so I’ll leave it up to you to find out for yourself, but Macdonald’s interviews expose such heartbreaking moments in Houston’s life – the people sitting behind us were balling their eyes out at such revelations. The unseen home videos by Houston’s close ones brings you so close to her raw form. If you don’t get teary-eyed watching this, you have no soul (and this is me, a heartless girl who doesn’t cry but instead laughs at the most soppiest of films, saying this).
Safe to say, we left the cinema quite emotional, saddened by the tragedies of Houston’s short life but ultimately appreciating the beautiful art she produced, as we drove home listening to Houston all the way and screaming to the top of our lungs (and definitely, embarrassingly, struggling with those insane high notes).
We love you, Whitney.
[your Social Secretary Queen]