Hot Docs 2017 Review: “Whitney: Can I Be Me” (2017) ★★★★★

That’s how it works in the world of fame and ridiculous amounts of money – there is always someone who will try to rip you off this way or the other. So will you be in great health condition to continue enriching others? Hell no. Nobody will stop you from earning money for the so-called relatives or friends… until, of course, physically you are no longer capable of doing that. Why? Maybe because you fell sick or, even worse, like in the case of Whitney Houston, dead.

Whitney: Can I Be Me follows the musical icon’s backstage life, her relationship with mother Cissy Houston, her friend and believed to be not only Robyn Crawford, and her husband Bobby Brown, who I must say, will be too painful to watch. The documentary will reveal Whitney’s struggles, her love for her daughter, a desire to be content and her strong determination to be herself. But once you see her surrounded by hungry-for-blood sharks, you will never have to look for another reason why Whitney Houston or her daughter had no chance to be saved.

As a huge, and I really mean it, fan of Whitney Houston, Whitney: Can I Be Me was a shocking film to watch. Knowing little about her personal life, and don’t get me wrong, her voice and talent was always above any personal problems she had, Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal’s movie had shaken the ground I walked on. It was breathtaking, real and so sad I can’t even find the right words to describe it. The drama, apparently between Robyn and Bobby over Whitney’s affection and attention have been escalated to a level that deserves to have its own separate movie with all possible disastrous implications it could possibly get.

As the story unfolds you will find Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown more involved into their personal selves where they do everything they want together. Her father, who she loved dearly, will cause a heartbreak. Her husband or the mother, who were always jealous of her success, as a viewer you won’t struggle much to find the core issue of Houston, and why she could not rescue herself from the trap on time. But where the movie mainly succeeds is at one important aspect of Houston’s personality – that she was genuine, down to earth, very kind human being who tried hard to get up on her feet for her daughter, for herself, and what she loved.

In the end, Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal’s collaboration brings a desired effect into a movie that will leave even indifferent viewer with tears… The tears that won’t get a second’s break from coming down. So be sure to be armed with lots of tissues. It’s also an emotional and very heartbreaking ride I would never take. It was almost like watching someone’s life you knew was coming to an end… A life that was full of historical achievement, but the scale of it was way too big to handle. Whitney Houston was an artist we all were fortunate to live in her timeline. And yes, the movie does begin with her death and ends with it… But if you are able to look through that, you will see that she actually never passed away… and how could she after gaining ability to rise up towards eternity?

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