A Star Is Born Film Review
You walk into A Star Is Born not really knowing what to expect, but hoping it won’t be one of those movies with too much singing about absolutely nothing – and you leave feeling depressed.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the fourth re-make of A Star Is Born is a ‘re-make done right – and a reminder that some stories can be just as effective in the retelling‘ – and we tend to agree. It was never going to be easy to out-shine previous leading casts which included some of the music industries most prominent names (Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand), but Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have done the courageous, well and truly producing a star.
If nothing else, appreciate the magnificent vocals of Lady Gaga – an emotional journey in itself which plays perfectly with the film. And yes, it is Gaga in the plain, a no-less beautiful dial down on her usual fashion and makeup choices.
Contrary to its name the movie ‘A Star is Born’ directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, had very little to do with how Ally, played by Lady Gaga, became a star. Yes, we were taken on her journey but ultimately, the movie isn’t about her.
Other reviews have called it a love story, we disagree. Don’t get us wrong – it is a great movie with amazing performances from both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It features a brilliant soundtrack, and the film is accompanied by just the right amount of music, without being too much. The music creates many touching moments between the two that really endear the viewers to the two lovers.
However, as we walked out of the movie we realised it hadn’t been about the love story of these two characters, neither was it about Ally’s rise to fame, but ultimately it was about Jackson Maine’s (Bradley Cooper) struggle. It’s a romance which turns into a tragedy, one that reminds us (despite most of us not being ‘stars’) of the vulnerability and fragility of life – a lesson difficult to portray, but one done extremely well.
A Star Is Born is an exploration of the difficulties of a man whose career is ending due to nothing he can control, and how he drowns himself in addiction but desperately tries to float. Despite the lack of depth in Ally’s character, she provides a good compliment to this raw performance by Bradley Cooper as his character battles with internal demons.
Brilliantly directed by Bradley Cooper, with amazing musical performances from himself, it’s Lady Gaga who shines through with an astounding final performance that brings tears to your eyes.
Unsurprisingly, Gaga’s musical prowess cannot be ignored – but combined with her raw emotion (most likely as a result of direct contact with many of the films portrayed issues) and heartfelt portrayal of Ally, the audience can’t help be question whether a star really was born – in the form of Gaga’s screen career.
Despite the movie slightly losing track in the second half, it manages to reel you back in with the thought provoking, emotional turmoil that Jackson faces as Ally’s fame continues to rise, as he struggles to keep it together for her. Their connection is obvious and profound but skillfully makes us question if it is enough to keep Jackson floating, with just the right amount of subtlety in regards to romantic notions to remain out of ‘cliché territory’.
A Star Is Born will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, accompanied by great music, endearing moments of new love and family, while slowly but surely breaking your heart. It is one that you have to watch if not only to hear the beautiful music but also to be moved by the story of a man grappling with pride, love and powerlessness.