In this revealing and raw film, Demi Lovato comes clean about trying to come clean after her the drug overdose that nearly killed her. This candid, graphic documentary effectively has Demi spill her guts head-on right into the camera. Her life story includes the multiple rises and falls and rises of the talented pop singer. Bitterness and attitude seep through her sad tale. But it is also one of recovery.
Director Michael J. Ratner interviews her managers, assistants, mother and step-dad, dancers and crew to confirm what Demi explains about having come to grips with her addictions. Although revealing, it becomes very repetitive showing how they keep trying to stop her from deluding herself when she would make bad decisions and go off the wagon. Trying to stay in control was not her best suit, which she freely admits.
There are plenty of films about child actors who have problems growing up and hers is no exception. She has been battling the demons of weight and drugs under the pressure of pop stardom for decades. She says the biggest problem is that other people were always making decisions for her and that she was trying to please everyone but herself.
In beauty pageants from the time she was very young, Demi was constantly being compared to her competitors. There was always friction between the young female pop stars at that time.We remember reports of incidents of her lashing out during Disney productions including during the making of Camp Rock.
Lovato talks about how Daddy issues that were never resolved have affected her whole life. She says her father was also addicted to drugs and alcohol and very abusive. Living on his own when he died, he overdosed and it was a week and a half before someone found him. Demi never got to say goodbye and the guilt is something she still wrestles with.
Ratner presents her 2018 overdose using animation and voice-over describing in ugly, gut wrenching terms what led to her near-death experience. She is bitter relating what happened that night when she was basically left to die by a drug dealer. She’s still dealing with physical after effects including a heart attack, mini-strokes causing brain damage, blind spots, organ failure and more. In the film, she says “I actually don’t think people understand how bad it actually was, being told that she was 5 minutes from death.
Ratner interviews her closest friends who tell their versions of how they tried to help and her resistant, unrealistic behavior along the way. It’s the same story for each incident which gets very unnecessarily repetitive. And now her new album and video Dancing With the Devil…The Art of Starting Over graphically repeats what you see in the film re-creating that horrible night.
The high point of her story is her emotional comeback performance at the 2020 Grammies where she stopped and started again, belting it out with every fiber of her being. The film shows that she is still a work in progress, still angry and bitter. But, Demi is also very strong and Ratner gives her the stage to show that she knows she’s been given yet another big chance to try to squash those dancing demons.
You Tube Original TV Series 1 hour 40 minutes Not rated.
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