January 18, 2015

Review: Lifetime’s ‘Whitney’

With many of my twitter friends, I sat down yesterday and watched Lifetime’s Whitney. Though I didn’t live tweet (partially due to being sick), I was glued in with everyone else and followed all of the shenanigans that unfolded on my Twitter feed. While there were some questionable moments and I have a few questions, without a doubt the Angela Bassett directed biopic was TEN TIMES better than the foolishness Lifetime gave us with the Aaliyah movie.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

PROS:

  • They obviously had a nice sized budget for hair and wardrobe. Whitney’s wigs were ON POINT throughout the film. The wardrobe pieces were obviously researched. The wedding dress and the red outfit when Bobby and Whitney performed together were VERY close to the originals.

 

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  • Yaya DaCosta really did put her best foot forward with this film. It was clear that she studied Whitney’s mannerisms and tried to mimic them as best as possible. The walk out/ jig she did on her way to stage and the hand gestures when performing were real Whitney-esque. Usually when people know its just a made for TV movie they don’t go that extra mile, Yaya made an effort and I applaud her for that.
  • Angela didn’t shy away from the rumors that we had been hearing for years. Robyn, who people thought for years was involved with Whitney, was included in the film and there were little hints  throughout that could have substantiated those rumors.
  • All the blame was not put on Bobby Brown. This was important for me because for years people (including her family) made it seem that Bobby Brown single-handedly caused the demise of Whitney Houston. This film showcased him in a different light. Even though we were told that Gary was the one who actually turned Whitney on to hard drugs, many fans didn’t want to believe it even after Gary himself admitted to it. We see in the film that Whitney was already on drugs when Bobby met her. Yes it escalated during the relationship and they both were ultimately bad for each other but Bobby didn’t start the cycle.
  • We saw another side to Bobby Brown. Yes he was the ultimate bad boy but we got to see that he really was deeply in love with Whitney despite everything. He put his career on hold to accompany her on tour after they had Bobbi Kristina. We saw what a strain that had on him, their reltationship and ultimately Whitney. That Bodyguard tour was really draining mentally and physically and I do believe the end of “The Voice” as we knew her.

 

CONS:

  • This should have been called the Bobby and Whitney Story to be honest. We knew that it would be about their relationship but I don’t think the audience was really prepared for just how much. Yes, Whitney was clearly the star but they spent so much time on Bobby as well that the name of the film should have been changed.

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  • Whitney’s career accomplishments weren’t celebrated as much as I thought it should have. We knew she was a star but it didn’t quite show how BIG of a star she was. Whitney Houston was an icon and except for a few mentions of The Bodyguard tour and soundtrack doing so well, it didn’t really show enough. Granted they had less than two hours and it was TV movie but still.
  • Bobby Brown’s career was glossed over. Most of us know that Bobby Brown really was the King of R&B at one point. He was the original Bad Boy of R&B and he was in his prime when he met Whitney. Putting his tour on hold and being with Whitney really was a sacrifice for him and she was just as much Mrs. Bobby Brown as she was Whitney Houston.
  • They made Bobby Brown a little too soft. Now I know I mentioned earlier how I am glad they didn’t put all the blame on him but they may have taken it a bit too far. We went a full hour and 30 minutes before we even saw Bobby do a line of coke with Whitney. We saw him put everything on hold, beg and grovel basically to stay with her. He told her he was in love and proposed to her just after a couple months together. Now while I believe that may have been true and he really was head over heels for her it was a bit too much. With the exception of the drinking and one instance of infidelity, they painted Bobby as a saint.

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All in all, not a bad effort from Angela Bassett. Was it bad? No. Was it good? No but it was watchable.

Did you watch it? Let me know your thoughts!

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Natalya