Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now
A year after launching his debut album, which instantaneously catapulted the Scottish singer to global stardom, Lewis Capaldi now finds himself preoccupied with writing his second album. But it’s a slow process. Alongside the pandemic bringing everything to a standstill, the artist is likewise put under immense pressure to produce the next Someone You Loved. Already suffering from anxiety, the process begins to take a severe toll on the artist’s mental health. Netflix documentary Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now, which takes its name from the singer’s latest single and is helmed by BAFTA-nominated director Joe Pearlman (Bros: The Screaming Steps), chronicles Capaldi’s journey through this point in his life, while looking back at how he went from playing small pubs in Glasgow to sold-out arena tours.
Funny, moving and engaging, How I’m Feeling Now removes the glitz and glamour surrounding its central star to frame him as a regular person (albeit with extraordinary talent) working through a difficult part of their career. Underneath an uneven structure and some overproduction, however, this Netflix documentary tells a deeply personal story.
The film is at its best when it’s presented more as a video diary than a conventional documentary. Most of what we see are shots of Capaldi sitting with friends and fellow songwriters as they work through some of his ideas. Others show him simply talking and laughing with his parents in their unassuming kitchen in Whitburn, with the singer’s fun-loving sense of humour shining through. By keeping these scenes firmly grounded in the everyday world, the film maintains an intimate tone throughout, which can hit surprisingly hard.
It is unfortunate, then, that this effectively minimalist style is disrupted by moments of unnecessary overproduction. While the artistic reasoning behind their inclusion is understandable, their highly polished artifice is the opposite of the down-to-earth manner of the rest of the film. Likewise, before the documentary begins to tackle issues surrounding mental health, it plays out like a standard rise-to-fame narrative. With only the last portion of the runtime actively dealing with the meat of the film, the pacing becomes uneven.
Despite falling into tired documentary tropes, How I’m Feeling Now manages to tell a reflective tale of living with fame and anxiety that isn’t just made for Capaldi’s most dedicated fans.
Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now is released on Netflix on 5th April 2023.
Watch the trailer for Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now here: