Whitney: Can I Be Me review: An engrossing portrait of the superstar undermined by a lack of access

James Luxford
Whitney: Can I Be Me

Broomfield clearly has aspirations towards 2014’s Amy, with its revelatory accusations as to whom was responsible for its star’s demise, but his film ends up merely a well put together summation of what we already know. Members of the band, assistants and executives rehash familiar territory regarding her dangerous relationship with Bobby Brown, her drug use, her possessive family.

But when the film attempts to move beyond these concrete pillars, Houston’s inner circle are conspicuously absent. A core subplot exploring sexuality and closeness to childhood friend Robyn Crawford, for instance, remains unresolved.

Nonetheless, when viewed as a whole, the this tragic story is incredibly engaging, with some genuinely eyebrow raising moments. One unexpected highlight is testimony from Houston’s real life bodyguard, an eloquent former policeman who looks nothing like Kevin Costner.

The conclusion – that fame is a killer – is hardly a shock. However, while it may not have the answers, Broomfield at least asks some intriguing questions. It’s a reminder to the X-Factor generation that stardom comes with a hefty price.

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