Aaliyah: Princess of R&B' premiered over the weekend, and the biopic was a hot, tragic mess.
From the lazy production, bad script and sloppy dialogue to the mismatched casting and horrible acting. No real effort or research was put into it and it showed. I watched it last night and felt like I was being trolled.
It's like they didn't even try. The entire thing was based on gossip, and it was BORING. Everything about it was in poor taste and low budget.
Alexandra Shipp (who is currently receiving a major online roasting alongside the film's executive producer Wendy Williams) is catching feelings. She has been retweeting all the positive messages claiming she did an "amazing" job. But she just didn't embody Aaliyah at all. At least not in the way that Angela Bassett embodied Tina Turner or in the way that Jennifer Lopez embodied Selena.
Shipp's portrayal was empty, like she was just reading from a script. In real life, Aaliyah was coy, sweet, humble and soft spoken. This didn't came across in her interviews. Shipp didn't display that at all. Her mannerisms of Aaliyah were off, and so was the singing and dancing. Aaliyah was a great dancer, but you would never have known it if you didn't grow up watching Aaliyah.
There was absolutely no attempt at accurately mimicking Aaliyah's singing/speaking voice. And since they couldn't secure the rights to use Aaliyah's voice/music, they could have cast somebody else to sing/re-record some of the songs used in the performances. Shipp's voice was painfully nasal and off key. It was not a true portrayal of Aaliyah's talent. Although Aaliyah was one of those soft voiced singers, she still had range and a beautiful tone.
The first hour of the movie was basically about her relationship/illegal marriage to R. Kelly. This was done purposefully to attract money and ratings. It didn't need that amount of attention, because it was only a small part of her life. The angle that they took with it was bizarre. It was like watching a ghetto Romeo and Juliet love story, when in reality, this was a 27-year-old sexual predator preying on a vulnerable 15-year-old girl.
They could have cut that down and put more detail of her life in the movie. Better yet, they could have focused on her other friendships. One being, Missy and Timbaland. Those two played a pivotal role in Aaliyah's career right to the very end, crafting MANY of her biggest hits. They were only shown in ONE SCENE. The scene was really short where all three of them were in the studio mapping out her new sound and direction. ONE SCENE. That is how much they meant to Aaliyah's career. They just weren't important to producers.
The scenes didn't mesh that well either. There were so many missing pieces. Certain stuff weren't addressed properly. If they did address something, it didn't receive a proper conclusion. Therefore the transitioning between scenes wasn't smooth. They just randomly jumped to the next stage of her life, so it was badly rushed and horribly edited.
None of Aaliyah's biggest hits were used in the film. Like, if you're doing a biopic on a popular singer, you want to hear the music that made them become the household name they are today. The only tracks they showed her performing were songs that were not originally hers, most likely because they couldn't get rights to them.
'Are You That Somebody' and 'Try Again' are arguably two of her most recognised hits and they were paid dust! If Beyoncé was to have a biopic one day (and she will), it would be a joke if they couldn't use 'Crazy In Love' and 'Single Ladies.'
Horrible acting. Horrible script. Horrible casting. Horrible dialogue. A big fat joke. When Lifetime realised they weren't going to be able to make the movie properly, they should have opted not to make it AT ALL. They had to have known this was going to be an epic fail, from the cast, to the set, to the script, to not being able to use her music and hits, to her fans, friends, colleagues and most importantly her family not approving or supporting.
I'm waiting for Wendy Williams to address the bad press, negative reviews and onslaught of criticism during her ‘Hot Topics’ segment, but something tells me she probably won't. At least Zendaya Coleman reserved her dignity and dropped out. It is such a shame that Aaliyah's legacy was represented so poorly. Everyone involved in this atrocity owes Aaliyah's family an apology.
If you missed it, you can watch it here, but you will ask yourself why you even bothered.