First and foremost, the film portrays an accurate and respectful depiction of Selena’s death. Selena was shot by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club (per Esquire). This happened at a motel in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Selena was confronting Saldivar about money she had been embezzling from her fan club. The film portrays this accurately, however, out of respect to Selena, it’s shot more like a dream sequence as “Dreaming Of You” plays over as a farewell to the Tejano legend.
Selena’s family sat down with Entertainment Tonight in 2017 for the film’s 20th anniversary. Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, commented that she feels the movie accurately portrayed their story saying, “everything was based on our life, the true way.” Moments like Selena’s father freaking out over her wearing a bustier and the famous “anything for Selenas” scene were confirmed to be true. One of the few things that were false in “Selena” was the washing machine dance scene.
Other moments such as the stage collapse in Mexico, Chris Perez’s (Selena’s husband) band trashing a hotel room, and Chris and Selena’s pizza date were also confirmed to be true, but Perez has commented that they were much more dramatic in real life while watching the movie on Facebook. Commenting on the stage collapse, Perez said, “That was even crazier than the movie shows. I thought we were not gonna make it out,” as quoted by Medium. So, other than a few moments where the level of drama didn’t exactly translate to the screen, the movie is, according to those who knew Selena, factually sound.