‘A Star is Born’ turns adversity to wonder


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Ethan Hayes


“A Star is Born” emits excellence and redefines what a movie should be. The tale of “A Star is Born” is almost as old as Hollywood itself. No matter that it’s been through four ideations, the movie makes itself as equally timeless as it’s predecessors and effectively stands alone as a classic.
The story starts when Ally (Lady Gaga), a woman with the gift of a divine voice, meets the famous country-rock star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) by chance.
The directorial debut for Cooper and a premiere role for Gaga in a Hollywood blockbuster, “A Star is Born” exceeds expectations set by previous iterations and sets the bar for all future remakes. “A Star is Born” presents as a life story, almost auto-biographical.
Both Gaga and Cooper fully embrace their characters, allowing the audience to believe the story is true and distinctly theirs to tell. The movie is still a drama, but it’s performed with such precision that you believe that it’s the actors own events being displayed on screen.
To say that “A Star is Born” is a love story would be a gross simplification of the complexity and depth this film offers’ viewers. The film holds nothing back when it reveals its raw and naturalist tones, confirmed by the R rating signaling to moviegoers its brutal honesty.

Photo from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517451/
The soundtrack is emotionally piercing, original and reinforces the principle themes and dynamics of the film. The live concert scenes spread across the film introduce the audience to the full experience of such an event. Trips through backstage and on-stage with various camera angles help share the sensational nirvana Ally and Jackson create with their stage presence to the viewers. Transitions through commercial-pop, country, country-rock and ballads give a rich and diverse sound that is synonymous with the brand of the film.
Finely-tuned acting combined with powerful musical performances create a vulnerable atmosphere for the audience to enjoy. The film’s relevance to current contemporary American culture cannot be overstated. It explores addiction, codependency, mental illness and the effect of fame on the creative intuition and authenticity of an artist.
Ally interacts with Jackson and his addiction in such a realistic and humane method that isn’t often seen in Hollywood productions. Films such as “Flight” and “Trainspotting” portray substance abuse with wild and unpredictable outbursts fitted with rage, but “A Star is Born” has no scenes of that matter when Ally deals with Jackson’s various demons.
Jackson masks his addiction in many scenes through his witty and charming character, which allows him to hold a mostly normal demeanor at times. Ally never assumes the role of the victim and Jackson is not made out as a perpetrator. Ally is fully aware from her first encounter with Jackson that he drinks too much, and Jackson doesn’t deny his bad habit. Rather, their devoted and competitive love for each other suppress the clear warning signs of Jackson’s behavior.
Jackson hits rock bottom more than once, and it’s very uncomfortable to watch these moments given the intense connection he creates with the audience. The relationship is never abusive, manipulative or coerced. They both bring their own baggage to the relationship which is one of the reasons it’s so relatable. No kind of romance is ever perfect and one between two celebrities is no different.
Gaga’s and Cooper’s innate, close bond outside of the movie sets the foundation for such a intimate and at times polarizing relationship Ally and Jackson have.
The ending of the film is hard hitting and a fitting finale. You see Ally take her final steps to become a star. She is no longer an extension of Jackson’s sound and steps out of his shadow to shine brighter than ever before.
“A Star is Born” gives rebirth to the age of the movie star, an easily recommendation for anyone and everyone.
[spotifyplaybutton play=”https://open.spotify.com/album/3edjzMAVB9RYRd4UcZBchx”/] Have you seen “A Star is Born”? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.