In it’s review of the film, Indiewire.com’s Shadow and Act praised Bassett for her “surprisingly, honest, passionate, and well-done” portrayal of Houston’s relationship with her then-husband Bobby Brown as it follows the pair from their initial meeting at the 1989 Soul Train Awards through the end of her “The Bodyguard” tour.
The site gives high marks to Yaya DaCosta as Houston (“a portrait of a loving and beautiful woman struggling to remain present as her status as an icon swiftly overwhelms her”) and Arlen Escarpeta as Brown (“a man in love, but still very much a product of his environment, which is evidenced by his wild ways.”)
“’Whitney’ is made even better due to the fact that DaCosta and Escarpeta have amazing chemistry. It certainly helped to elevate the film from a “typical” Lifetime romance,” according to Shadow and Act, which also noted the absence of Houston’s actual vocals in the film.
“Since her estate would not give Lifetime clearance, Deborah Cox’s voice is used for all of the songs in the film. Though Ms. Cox has an amazing voice, Whitney Huston’s vocals are iconic, and the fact that they weren’t used is noticeable, and certainly took me out of the story in some moments,” the site’s review mentioned.
“…overall, the film gives a surprisingly fresh and overarching window into Whitney and Bobby’s highly publicized and scrutinized relationship. Bassett’s choice to focus on the couple’s adoration for one another gives their relationship a more tangible view and offers more profound insight, than audiences are accustomed to seeing.”
“Whitney” premieres at 8 p.m. ET Saturday (Jan. 17) on Lifetime. To read Shadow and Act’s entire review of the film, click here.
To see the “Whitney” trailer, check out the video below: