A Star is Born impresses with original songs, emotional turns

Natalie Schroeder | Staff Writer


Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper hit the big screen together this past weekend with their film A Star Is Born. The movie first hit theaters in 1937 as an American Technicolor romantic drama film. The movie reboot earned a 91 percent on “Rotten Tomatoes,” and it was well deserved.

While Bradley Cooper gives a three dimensional portrayal of his character, Lady Gaga holds her own very well in this film. From singing to acting, Bradley Cooper surprisingly has it all. Not only did he co-write, co-produce and star in the movie, this was also his directorial debut which shows his talent visually as well.

In the original movie, the female lead is an aspiring Hollywood actress. Similar in plot to its original, this 2018 film follows the ups and downs between Ally (Lady Gaga) and Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) as the two write songs, perform together and fall in love. Ally is an aspiring singer and songwriter while Jackson Maine has already made a name for himself. The movie uses the music to push the story along, with “Maybe It’s Time” being played while the plot takes a turn into new territory.

After a show, Jackson stumbles into a bar where he meets Ally after she performs on stage. The realistic portrayal of the shy, talented personality that Lady Gaga brings to the character is juxtaposed with Bradley Cooper’s magnetic portrayal of a talented artist with hidden demons.

The two write beautiful songs, and the audience roots for Ally to succeed and for Jackson to remain at her side. While Jackson has his hardships, it is still easy to root for him as Bradley Cooper brings a positive side to his character that validates Ally’s talent. The movie has many songs but the ones that really hit home are “Shallow” and “I’ll Never Love Again”. The audience sees Ally perform for the first time in front of a large audience when she sings “Shallow” as a duet with Jackson.

While Jackson helps Ally face her fears of performing, he ignores facing his own fears and reality. Jackson struggles with addiction and as it gets worse, his relationship with Ally becomes an emotional roller-coaster filled with hope and disappointment.

Throughout the movie the audience learns how talented Ally and Jackson are with the way they tell stories in their music. When Ally is given a chance to put out an album, Jackson tells her to always tell the truth in her music. Hope turns to disappointment when Jackson confronts Ally about her song “Why Did You Do That?” while under the influence. Words become insults and a fight ensues. Jackson goes from heavily under the influence to fully sober, often making decisions that could change his life, and not always for the better.

The movie portrays addiction in a realistic way, showing destruction when Jackson has been drinking and then the hope that Ally and the audience feel when he is sober. In an industry that puts people under a microscope, it is believable that Jackson has demons, with addiction being one of them.

Since its release it has been critically acclaimed, and for good reason. The cast and crew made the story very believable and the characters pushed the story forward with ease. The ups and downs were predictable, but the audience never knew when the aftermath was coming until it already had.

Overall, the movie was authentic, beautifully written and filled with incredible actors. Even though it was on the longer side, the story was easily followed and kept the interest of its viewers. The way this movie was shot allowed the audience to feel close to the characters and believe the emotions that the actors conveyed within their characters. Bradley Cooper did an incredible job creating the world that Jackson and Ally were a part of.