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Rondeau's Reviews: 'Whitney'

When you think of the greatest singers of all time, Whitney Houston is at the top of the list.

It's been more than six years since the troubled superstar's shocking death, and now a new documentary is trying to answer questions about her self-destructive life.

The new documentary "Whitney" is shattering portrait of the mega star's meteoric rise to fame, and disintegrating fall to Earth, told through never-before-seen-footage and heartbreakingly insightful interviews.

"Whitney" is the first doc authorized by the Houston family, but surprisingly it doesn't sugarcoat her demons; from drug use, to bisexuality, to her turbulent to singer Bobby Brown.

In addition to her marriage, Houston's relationship with daughter Bobby Christina is also depicted as collateral damage to her fame.

But this is no Mommy Dearest, and it's no E! True Hollywood Story. It's an unflinching look at an American tragedy that goes beyond the usual cliche of the star who has it all, but self destructs.

That said, "Whitney" is not a perfect film.

A bombshell sexual abuse accusation - never gets fully explored.

Houston's longtime friend and assistant Robyn Crawford declined to be interviewed for the film, and her absence is like a ghost in the room.

And the ending is not momentous or powerful enough to match the rest of the material.

But despite those flaws, "Whitney" is flat out riveting.

It gets under your skin and haunts you.

I give it four out of five stars.


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