Review: Amy

By Christian DiMartino

When Amy Winehouse was in business, there is no denying the fact that she was seen as something of a joke. What with her constant wild behavior, and the fact that she always looked like she was on drugs, she was kind of an easy target. So easy, in fact, that when she passed away a few years ago, we all kind of shut our mouths.

I personally was never really a fan, and that might be because I jumped on that “let’s make fun of Amy” bandwagon, or maybe because I only knew and liked one of her songs, “Rehab.” But there was no denying the fact that her voice was pretty damn good. So good, in fact, that it led to her downfall in some ways.

This is just what we gather from Amy, Asif Kapadia’s tragic documentary about the late musician. I feel like even if you weren’t a fan of Winehouse, you still can’t help but feel the kick in the balls that this film gives you. It’s a sad, beautifully crafted documentary that doesn’t hold back.

The Winehouse family gave Kapadia permission to use all of the archive footage, and to be perfectly honest, we wouldn’t have the film we have without it. Kapadia shows us damn near every aspect of her life, from her younger years, to her relationships, to her rise to fame, and then her darker times.

The other elements are fascinating, for sure, but the darker times is where the film really earns its points. It is almost difficult to watch. I say this because we literally watch this woman fall apart, and yet nobody really does that much to stop it.

Kapadia also does an interesting thing in mixing her personal life in with the media. Remember how I said that thing earlier about how she was kind of a joke? Well, Kapadia includes these jokes, as we watch her suffer. The result is uncomfortable, but it surely packs a punch.

I have never exactly been one for documentaries, though films like Deliver Us From Evil and Life Itself are purely fascinating. I can now also add Amy to the list. It is not an easy film to sit through, but by the end, the pain is worth it.

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