‘A Star is Born’ Lives Up to its Name



courtesy of twincities.com

Julianne Kearns, Contributing Writer

“A Star is Born” is the 2018 directorial debut film of Bradley Cooper and marks the first leading role Lady Gaga has taken on in the cinematic universe. The film is the third remake, following the 1937 original along with the 1957 and 1976 remakes. This time, it explores the turbulent love story between Jack and Ally, and it does so at full force.

Cooper takes on the role of Jackson Maine, a famous and beloved musician whose spark has gone out. His passion has all but disappeared, and he seemingly moves through an endless parade of sold-out shows and adoring fans. He has given up on everything he has and has disappeared in the process, looking for answers in empty liquor bottles and hollow pill boxes.

In comes Ally, a burst of talent who has been discouraged from pursuing her dreams and spends her days working as a waitress and caring for her cab driver father and his friends. The two meet one fateful night as Jackson “Jack”, stumbles into a drag club once his bottles have come up dry. It is there he witnesses Ally perform for the first time and is absolutely mesmerized by her. Through a single glance, anyone could tell that in that moment, there is no turning back.

He desires to fill a void that has been haunting him all through his life, searching for a purpose in an existence that has become meaningless. She is longing for greatness, for more than her mundane existence has given her. As they come together, they find it in one another, but nothing in life comes without cost.

As great as their love comes to be, it is forced into combat time and time again. Jacks alcohol and drug abuse issues seem to be another individual in their relationships, one he tends to lean on as Ally begins to rise. She gets what she has always wanted, but little by little, Jack is slipping away.

The music in this movie, all original songs, plays as a character all on its own. It develops along with the story, with songs such as “Shallow,” “Too Far Gone,” and “Maybe it’s Time,” they assist in moving the story along, taking it from its early stages, where the two leads first make music together and onto the jurassic change that comes from Ally’s first taste of stardom. Their performances send chills down your spine, the passion given as each note blasts reminds viewers just how powerful music can be and how within a story that is so complex, it can deliver a message all on its own.

The highlights of this film by far are the performances given by Cooper and Gaga. Gaga may be known for her larger than life shows and over-the-top fashion choices, but one can immediately tell that underneath all of that is raw, pure talent. Her voice is electrifying, and the acting ability she brings to this role makes Ally vulnerable and real.

Cooper continues to prove his immense talent. He not only starred in the film, but also co-wrote and produced the film along with contributions to the soundtrack. Cooper shows a part of Hollywood that you do not see quite as often. He does not simply want everyone to know his name, but he cares about putting quality work out into the world. He is passionate about telling stories and giving the world something that is real with a message they can hold on to.

“A Star is Born” is a theatrical experience that everyone needs. This is an emotional rollercoaster that sucks you into the world it has created from the very beginning. You go on this journey along with the characters, and seemingly forgot that this is simply a work of fiction. It is moving and raw and powerful, and as the tears stream down your face when the end credits roll, you will know it was well worth the trip.