Netflix’s Britney Vs Spears Review: Truth About The Controversial Conservatorship

Britney Spears, America’s sweetheart, Princess of Pop and probably the greatest artist of all time, gets a shot at revealing the truth behind her toxic conservatorship in the form of Netflix’s new documentary titled Britney Vs Spears. The singing sensation whose life picked up due to her iconic songs and amazing dance moves spiralled down a seemingly unending black hole due to an inefficient legal system and a bullying father. Netflix’s new documentary touches on facts and figures that have played a part in Britney’s life from the early 2000s till date and leaves the audience emotional and more connected than ever to the pop star.

Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr with journalist Jenny Eliscu started making this documentary two years ago which was originally designed to focus on Spears’ artistry and media portrayal. However, making a Britney Spears documentary also would mean talking about power and control and all rumours flying around the artist’s name for the last decade or more. At the beginning of the documentary, Carr makes a remark on these controversies saying, “No one would talk. Until they did”, making sure that the audience understood that they are going to be delivered the story with certitude.

– Netflix’s Britney Vs Spears Review does not contain spoilers –

Britney Vs Spears: “You don’t get out until you scream”

“It’s been 13 years and it’s enough”, we hear Britney Spears’ voice echo at the end of Netflix’s Britney Vs Spears documentary trailer. 13 years of lies, secrets and silence that deprived a human being, a global pop iconic at that, the basic right to freedom of speech, opinion and justice. All of it comes undone, the curtains get lifted as we finally get a look, a real look at what has been going on in the Blackout singer.

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The film chronicles the life of Britney from the start of what might be known to us as her “public downfall”. We learn about Britney’s marriage to K-Fed which resulted in two kids and subsequent divorce which also indicates a fight to get custodial rights. We realize that this event that seems so ancient served as the catalyst for not only Britney being placed under the conservatorship of her toxic father, Jamie Spears but also in her losing herself along the way.

A conservatorship is an arrangement made by the legal system wherein a person with diminished mental capacity is placed under the care, or in this case, a cage, of a conservator. Jamie Spears, an absent and distant father in Britney’s life, petitioned and gained the rights to her conservatorship alongside a court-appointed lawyer (Sam Ingham) after Britney Spears had a meltdown and did not release her kids to visit their father (K-Fed) at the court designated time.

Through this documentary, we witness that the conservatorship which resulted in a media circus for the past 13 years was nothing more than a business model of sorts for Jamie Spears to gain power and control over Britney’s life, be it financially or emotionally. An iconic star of the era who has been listed by Forbes as the highest-paid female musician (twice!) was served with a monthly allowance of $8000 and needed permission to step out of the house even if she merely wanted to visit a hamburger joint. Under the ruthless conservatorship, she was diagnosed with dementia around the same time she was starring in shows such as, How I Met Your Mother and soon after was put on exhaustive tours like Circus and Femme Fatale.

Britney Vs Spears takes us through Britney’s struggles that eventually failed to try to get rid of her father’s claws and find her own space. It almost feels like the woman was being watched, surveilled and used as a puppet to make her people money at the cost of her freedom and mental well being. This harrowing tale feels scarier than ever because, all of what we see and learn are things that have been happening in front of our eyes and yet, with all the paparazzi documents and obsession of singing Oops! I Did It Again on loop, we somewhere missed the horrors Britney was going through just because she put a smile on her face.

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It is commendable what the creators have put on screen starting from 1000 pages of confidential documents to Sam Lufti denying drug accusations to Adnan Ghalib trying to help Spears at every corner to the court rejecting Britney’s pleas of denying her father conservatorship time and again. It is hard work and dedication to bring justice to the biggest influence in the music industry of all time and it shows as well as moves you.

The documentary ends with Britney Spears’ powerful and stirring speech at the court on June 23, 2021- a day when all the fans had rallied up and the #FreeBritney campaign was in full swing after the singer had spent unconsented time in a psychiatric evaluation centre:

“It makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me make a living for so many people and be told I am not good enough. But I’m great at what I do.”

Britney Vs Spears: Final Verdict

It will be a crime to miss out on a film as important as this one. It will be a crime to not know about the sufferings of someone who we idolise. It will be a crime to not call this one of the most honest pieces of a documentary film made on Britney Spears to date.

This documentary is Britney’s voice and it deserves to be heard, loud and clear. You can watch Britney vs Spears, streaming now on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Netflix's new docu-film titled 'Britney Vs Spears' is brutally honest and moves you with the truth.

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