I feel like this review should have a disclaimer, so here it is. If you’re planning on watching How I’m Feeling Now, tissues will almost definitely be required. Fans are used to seeing Lewis Capaldi in a light, comedic sense alongside his talent – and if you expect bucket loads of comedy, you might be disappointed. How I’m Feeling Now is a raw, emotional and at times blunt portrait of stardom, but it’s one of the best pieces of TV you will watch in a long time. Nonetheless, here’s our list of some things we learnt, discovered, and at times rediscovered by watching this moving piece.
10. The Importance of Discussing Mental Health
While this is becoming less taboo in general to discuss mental health, in my perspective it was refreshing to see how Lewis approached it in this documentary with such a no-holds-barred viewpoint. Lewis is unfiltered in a fashion that contrasts with the unconventional and sweet popstar we usually see, and through his chronicled journey it’s plain that being open has been one of the key instruments in his healing. I think it’s something we could sometimes all do a little bit more of, regardless of the subject matter.
9. Imposter Syndrome
This one was interesting. There’s a fair amount of focus on imposter syndrome throughout this documentary, from Lewis mentioning his discussion with fellow star Ed Sheeran to reading a supportive email he received from Elton John. I think hearing about it in this context is super important, and it’s good to highlight that no matter how incredible your success may seem, you can still be susceptible to it.
8. He still plays music to mum and dad first
A wholesome moment in a sea of moments that made me sniffle! Lewis describes his parents as his “first audience” and that’s something he echoes to this day with his new music. His parents do note one of his tracks isn’t “one of his better ones” – which hey, at least they’re honest about it. A fair amount of the film is placed on his relationship with them and how close they are. It’s a simple, at times tear-jerking, but wonderful depiction of familial relationships.
7. Sometimes it does turn out okay in the end – or at least, in the middle
By the end of my watching, I was a bit of a wreck. But you know who wasn’t? Lewis! The documentary ends on a surprisingly positive note – the album is finished, and he’s excited to get back on tour. He acknowledges that he’s getting better, and it makes you want to sit down with him and applaud his change, his progress, and his success.
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6. His break from music was to focus on himself
Weirdly I remember this happening – or more, his return. I remember seeing the posts he made when he came back to social media, and I’m sure like a lot of other fans was wondering if he was alright. His family and team put a temporary stop to working on album two for Lewis to get himself in a better place – and during that time was when he was diagnosed with Tourette’s. He was given a plan for how to manage it and mentions in the documentary that the diagnosis made “complete sense.” Taking that time off was critical, and meant he was able to come back to working fresher, healthier and more focused. We’re glad for him!
5. Playing live is what drives him
Capaldi describes playing live is what drove him to start writing music, but despite this he wasn’t sure after everything if he could do it again for Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent. But by the end, he’s visibly excited about being back on stage in front of 50,000 people – and we hope this tour is the best one yet for him.
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4. Who influenced some of his biggest songs
In yet another touching moment, it’s revealed who inspired two of Capaldi’s biggest hits to date – and no, it’s not his exes. With the loss of his grandmother, he created ‘Someone You Loved’ and used the passing of his aunt for ‘Before You Go.’ Capaldi notes that both experiences have affected him very deeply. It seems like from a viewer’s standpoint these songs are his tribute to them and his emotions. Considering both songs already make us cry, we’re on the way to another tissue box.
3. He moved back home for the pandemic
Like so many of us, Lewis returned to his hometown because of Covid, and it’s one of the first scenes we see. Musing about how nice a normal, ‘ordinary’ life is, it’s clear that Lewis is a hometown guy at heart. We see him driving around, visiting the pub, and hanging out with his family. When restrictions ease, he moves in with some of his best mates in Glasgow. He speaks cherishingly of his hometown and its memories, and it’s obvious that it will always have a special place in his heart.
2. He’s still funny
Despite the disclaimer up the top, there’s still some refreshing moments of Capaldi wit. Between his laughing at a woman waving at him from the eye clinic as he drives past, and his jokes with best buddy Niall Horan, there’s still flashes of the Lewis fans see on social media, and that trademark Scottish humor.
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1. He’s very excited by the new album
For so many of us, the last two years have been a struggle and clearly we’ve learnt that for Lewis, it’s been no different. Noting that the album ‘reflects that’ he says he really likes the finished product – and no doubt fans will too. Having almost sold out his NZ shows entirely, here and overseas Lewis still has the hearts of many, and with the release of How I’m Feeling Now has no doubt secured even more fans in the leadup to the release. We’re excited for what it’s going to bring!
How I’m Feeling Now is available to watch on Netflix now.
Lewis Capaldi’s sophomore album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent will release May 19. Pre-save it here.