Lifetime premieres Whitney Houston biopic “Whitney”
If you were like many of most America this past Saturday, then chances are your face was glued to your television set to watch the highly anticipated biopic of Whitney Houston, ‘Whitney’ which aired on the Lifetime network.
Only a few months ago, Lifetime received much backlash from the ‘Aaliyah’ biopic which was produced by media maven and gossip queen Wendy Williams. It was only a matter of minutes leading into the ‘Whitney’ film before viewers began swarming social media to give their take of the film with the high hopes that it would exceed the expectation of its predecessor in every category imaginable.
It\’s for sure and that is the characters in ‘Whitney’ undoubtedly resembled the real life characters that were being portrayed. Houston was portrayed by Yaya DaCosta and the resemblance was beyond on point. The beautiful actress mesmerized the Whitney character by fulfilling everything from Whitney’s laugh, to her walk and mannerisms she charismatically displayed.
A model and talented singer by trade, it was quite a shock that DaCosta didn’t sing any of Houston’s infamous hits but instead R&B singer Deborah Cox was the one behind the vocals of every song featured in the film. Just as the ‘Aaliyah’ biopic didn’t receive the rights to any of the music, same rang true for the set of ‘Whitney’ which is part of the reason Cox was the vocal heavyweight in the film.
The storyline behind ‘Whitney’ was simple—the tumultuous relationship between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. The film which was directed by Houston’s friend and award winning actress Angela Bassett chronicled the many ups and downs the couple faced including the infamous drug usage between the couple.
The character of Brown was portrayed by actor Arlen Escarpeta who also drew many critics of his looks which were not so comparable to Brown who is well known for his gap and smooth dark skin. Escarpeta bares a fair skin complexion and has neither a gap nor where there any ‘Hollywood’ tricks done to create a gap.
Just as many other viewers, I expected to see the life of Whitney Houston chronicled from her humble beginnings up until her death. The film actually opens up about ten years into Houston’s career as she is making an appearance at an awards ceremony which is where she first meets Brown. The film then goes into chronological order of the pair’s relationship including the birth of their daughter Bobbi Kristina.
In comparison to the predecessor of ‘Whitney,’ the film brought much more light to the lives of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Bassett did a great job with the dialogue of the film and shined a light on the subject so many of us wanted to know about: Who started using drugs first?” As it was highlighted in the film, that million dollar question was answered but it also left you wondering if Houston’s family didn’t give their stem of approval for the film, then exactly where did Bassett get the scoop from.
Overall, the film was ok and much of the film did honestly seem one sided as if it were told from the perspective of Bobby Brown partly because his character was seen throughout the entire film compared to the character of Houston.
The cast did a great job in portraying many of the mannerisms of Houston and Brown. The character of Clive Davis was also reminiscent and it was great to see his portrayal in the film as he titled Houston “The Voice,” which fans would grow to love.
If you are honestly just looking for something to watch, then ‘Whitney’ will do the trick again as it gives a very interesting perspective of the relationship between Houston and Brown and it will in some retrospective leave you speechless and maybe even shaking your head for a second.