Multitudes Of Amy (Movie Thoughts: Amy)

movies-amy-posterMy favorite Amy Winehouse song starts with the lyric, “For You I Was A Flame, Love Is A Losing Game.” That lyric seems prophetic in a lot of ways, based on the events in Asif Kapadia’s sad and disturbing documentary, “Amy.”  It seems like Amy never stood a chance. The signs were all there: a deadbeat husband who introduced and enabled her heroin and crack habit, a weak mother who couldn’t control her daughter’s bulimia, a seemingly opportunistic father who thrived in his daughter’s celebrity, a management company who forced her to book dates instead of making her rest and recuperate. This documentary, though doesn’t feed or sensationalize in that fact – it shows Amy as a flame who was stubborn (“She was always strong headed,” her mom laments) and speared her own way. This drive reflected in her music career – one of my favorite stories in the film was when she was enraged that a producer added fake strings to one of her early tracks. I have to admit that even when I loved her music, I really didn’t know much about her life, and this film opened my eyes to a lot of it. I had the (mistaken) notion that she died of a drug overdose when reality it was the alcohol mixed with her bulimia that struck her heart. And this film also posits the question: did the media enable her downfall? We see Jay Leno poking fun at her hot mess pictures taken by paparazzi. These paparazzi footage, by the way, is used a lot in the film. I hadn’t realized that this all happened in this digital age where anything and everything in celebrities’ lives gets recorded. Still, I thought the movie could have been trimmed a little bit. The downward spiral can be a it repetitive. The same story could have been told half an hour less, and it seemed even that some parts, especially after she passed away, seemed rushed. I also would have liked to see how her death impacted people these same people around her (Her ex-husband and also her father have problems with the film) But all in all, I was mesmerized by her sad story and will be forever be haunted by her lyric: “Played out by the band, love is a losing hand”