“So I fell in love with someone who.. I would’ve died for. And that’s like a real drug isn’t it” – Amy Winehouse
When it was first announced that an Amy Winehouse documentary was in the making, I have to admit that I was a little put off. I thought it was another way to make money off the back of someone who passed away in such sad circumstances.
Nevertheless, as the release date came closer and most of London’s tube stations were covered in promotional posters for Amy, I decided I would go see this movie to at least try and understand a little bit more about her life.
So, on a relatively slow and warm Saturday evening, I found myself queuing at the Clapham Picturehouse, unsure of how I would be feeling once I step out that very same premise a few hours later.
And all of my personal beliefs about Amy Winehouse as a person, and the purpose of this film were totally changed.
Like most of the general population, my previous general understanding of Amy was quite simple – an extremely talented girl, but unfortunately also someone with a lot of addiction issues and personal demons to deal with. Whenever images of her and Blake Fielder-Civil surfaced looking rather – pardon my French – shitfaced; I can’t say that I was surprised and I most definitely judged her.
When Amy passed away, two days prior to my 22nd birthday, I was also not surprised, despite feeling saddened by these news. It felt like the unfortunate conclusion to her very public descent to hell and a new addition to club 27.
The movie completely changed my vision of the troubled singer. Narrated by those closest to her, Amy suddenly felt like a real person, not just someone who’s public meltdown’s were regularly exposed on tabloids. She became likeable and her downfall more, dare I say, understandable. After all, how many of us can say they coped well with their unlucky love stories? How many of us could actually handle that in the public eye, and stay composed?
Of course, Blake was not the only reason behind Amy’s downfall, though it is easy to point our fingers towards him. The beloved pin-up songstress did not handle fame very well, and part of her coping mechanism included unwinding through drinking and smoking, both tobacco and marijuana. Mix that with other drugs that became readily available to her, and you’re bound to end up in a very dark place.
Perhaps the saddest realisation I had was that Amy was just like the rest of us girls. She had a heart and feelings, and just wanted to be loved. Unfortunately for her, Amy’s fragile frame was a relfection of her inner-self – she was not strong enough for all of this.
I strongly recommend this film to all of my readers. Even if you’re not the biggest Amy Winehouse fan, it is an interesting modern-day reflection of what can happen to an individual going through the various shitstorms life throws in our faces. It is an eye-opener to perhaps pay more attention to those around us in times of hardship, and just lend a helping hand to someone who may need it, whether they ask for help or not.
Please watch the trailer below: