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Amy Review

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Amy is more than just a behind the scenes look at the life of one of the most iconic singers of this millenum; it is an emotionally charged, sometimes harrowing, and always gripping look at how addiction can destroy even the brightest of talents.

Crafted by Asif Kapadia, the man behind the masterful Senna, the documentary comprises of unseen archive footage and previously unreleased tracks to give us a fly on the wall look at her life, from a working class childhood to stardom, and then her inevitable downfall.

Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23rd 2011, and tragically it did not come as a surprise to anyone who had been a fan of the singer during her time with us. She became a breakout star with her album Back to Black in 2006 and from that time until her death had a tumultuous relationship with the media, who charted her many highs and lows.


Where the movie succeeds is that it shows us a side of Amy that the public rarely saw; a vulnerable woman who just happened to have an incredible gift. We get a glimpse into the private life she so desperately tried to keep from the media, and we meet people who genuinely cared for her. It is perhaps what makes her story all the more sad, because the more we learn about her the more we see just how avoidable the tragedy which took her life was.

During the course of her story we see chances not taken and paths not fully explored that may have saved Amy from self destruction, and it's all the more painful and difficult to watch because we know where her life choices ultimately take her. Footage from her childhood shows just how nervous and self conscious she was; someone who was aware of the talent they had but was completely unsure of herself and how to react with the unwanted attention that came with being thrust into the limelight.


The narrative is constructed from interviews with key players from her life, but no voice is heard more clearly than her own. The footage at times conflicts with what we're being told, but it is all weaved together to give us a picture of someone who we thought we knew but had really only scratched the surface of how complicated an individual Amy was.

Amy is a striking and bold documentary, something not just for music fans but utterly gripping as a study in human nature. Uncompromising and at times unpleasant to watch, it is compelling viewing into the life of a true artist; a person who was an inspiration for many but frustratingly flawed in the way she approached her own welfare. Above all though, Amy is a reminder of just what an incredible talent the world lost four years ago.




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The Movie Bit: Amy Review
Amy Review
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