Amy is a documentary film which tells the story of the life of Amy Winehouse, a singer and songwriter, who tragically died of alcohol poisoning in 2011. It’s a film which was directed by Asif Kapadia, who some may know as the director of Senna (2010). Amy is one of this year’s most interesting and powerful films to see and I highly recommended that you go and check it out when it releases.
I’ve been reading about Aristotle a lot in the last few weeks and in particular, I’ve been reading about the ancient Greek tragedies. Amy is a film that tells a story in such a way that it seems to be almost like one of those old Greek tragedies and as a story it’s very emotionally draining on the viewer. In some ways as someone watching the story of Amy Winehouse, I can’t help but feel pity for her and the situation she was in, but it’s also scary as well, because we really do see the pressure that so much fame can have on an individual and how it can cause someone to unravel, particularly if they have a few faults. I say that it’s like a Greek tragedy because this film is something that someone can truly learn from and left me thinking about what I saw for a very long time. It’s difficult to even write a review for this, because I don’t see any faults with this film at all. It truly is the most moving and captivating film I’ve seen in 2015.
In this film we will watch Amy Winehouse at different stages of her life, starting at the beginning of her career when she was just discovered as a musician, to her death in 2007. She really was a very interesting person, with so much talent and there was just so much she could have done. But it appears from watching this film, that she just didn’t have the right people behind her to help her with her struggles and she slowly unravels as a result of decisions made at certain points in her life, which aren’t her own fault, but appear to be due to who and what was around her.
It’s not all bad moments in the film though, there are a lot of great moments as well. When Tony Bennett comes into the film, you really see a different side of Amy Winehouse, she absolutely adored Tony Bennett. I enjoyed learning that she was always reading up on music and was even giving out homework to certain friends she enjoyed talking about music to. All of it is really a tragedy because she was struggling with her fame as well as the drug use and couldn’t get the right help and her father in particular, seemed to be not the best of characters to be around. It’s interesting that she says early on in her life that she didn’t think she could handle fame, she wanted everything to be small. But her career ended up being much bigger than just singing in a jazz club and everything spiraled out of control so quickly for poor Amy.
AMY – clip – “How Big Are You Going To Be?”
Asif Kapadia who directed this film really did a phenomenal job, both in telling the story of Amy Winehouse and putting together all of the video clips and audio files to tell her story. There isn’t really any narration in this film, except for when an audio file is being played over a picture or a video clip from one of Amy’s family members or someone she knew. The amount of video clips that we get to see and audio interviews from all the people in her life were really very impressive.
People who are fans of Amy Winehouse will really enjoy seeing this film and are likely to go and watch it anyway regardless of what my review of it says. But for those who aren’t necessarily Amy Winehouse fanatics such as myself, I would urge you all to go and see it. After watching the movie last week, I do now really admire what she did and I do wish she could have somehow survived what happened.
After watching this you also do learn quite a lot about how her music was made and how the songs were created. You’ll get to learn what some of her songs truly mean and what she was going through when she wrote some of her music. For myself, it has really changed the way I listen to her songs, as I now have a greater understanding of what they meant to her when they were created.
Overall this one of the best films of 2015 and it’s one of the must see films of the year. We get to follow Amy Winehouse throughout her career and see the type of person that she was, but at the same time, witness the great tragedy that was her life. We get an insight into how her songs were created and what she was going through when they were written, as well as being able to listen to a few of them being performed during the film. Asif Kapadia really did a great job putting together all of the video clips and audio files in order to tell a very emotional and tragic story. It’s a film that should leave many audiences thinking about what they saw during the film for a very long time.