By Nicolas Jozefczyk | Staff Writer
When it comes to Lady Gaga, it’s a no-brainer that whatever she puts her mind to becomes a work of art, and Gaga: Five Foot Two is no exception. Strong, raw and down-to-earth, this documentary portrays some of Gaga’s struggles and highlights some of her greatest achievements from when she put together her album, Joanne, all the way up to her Super Bowl LI Halftime Show performance.
The opening scene of the documentary alludes to a sense of eeriness that can be slightly confusing and uncomfortable. For a brief couple of seconds, Gaga stays suspended, motionless in a harness, as if fame has hanged her.
Following the creepy start, the viewer gets a look at Gaga’s overly-lavish lifestyle as a pop star waking up to eat, have her in-house massage and go to the recording studio to work on her music. While seemingly self-indulgent, this beginning actually lays bare the struggles in Gaga’s life. Right upfront is her and her ex-fiance’s relationship plight, as well as the lasting consequences of a hip injury that causes muscle tightness and spasms — an almost career-ending disability for the entertainment business.
These foundational prefaces in Five Foot Two set a tone that mimics the age-old truism of “life is a roller coaster.” No matter how good something in Gaga’s life gets, there always seems to be an antithesis acting to bring her back down.
For example, the documentary shows a moment when Gaga surprises a fan of hers and cries tears of joy, saying, “It really is so sweet that you went outside for me.” This touching and heartfelt moment is followed by press talking about Gaga crying and murmuring that she is alone. This part of the documentary is capped by the singer mournfully confessing, “I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day to total silence.”
The emotional strain of the documentary continues in a scene in which Gaga visits her grandmother, and a conversation about Joanne, Gaga’s aunt who passed away at the age of 19, ensues. Gaga has her grandmother listen to the titular track she had written for her album named after her aunt. While the song is playing, the film cuts to some of the Joanne’s artwork, pictures of her and reactions of Gaga’s father and grandmother. After the song finishes, Gaga’s grandmother confesses, “That’s a beautiful piece,” as Gaga is crying, kneeling next to her.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the most exciting part of the documentary was Gaga getting ready for and talking about her Halftime Show performance. This event was the biggest moment in her career, leading her to state, “The truth is that there really isn’t anything bigger than this, so I better enjoy it today, because it’s not going to happen again.”
Thankfully for Gaga, the event was huge and sparked an outpour of love from her fans. That support alone brought “Million Reasons” off of Joanne to number one that night and added to Gaga’s exuberance. This created the perfect ending of seeing Gaga purely joyous and her marking another number one single and a Halftime Show performance as milestones in her career.
Five Foot Two is a very well put together documentary that makes it easy to follow Gaga’s life. There was never a point while watching this film, aside from the very beginning, that I was confused about what was happening or confused about the current time frame, which is a huge positive for this documentary.
Being a fan of Lady Gaga, I thought I knew a lot about her, but this work had me learning unique things about her and her personality. Between her personal familial struggles and those caused by her chronic pain, Gaga: Five Foot Two really shed a light on how strong and passionate the singer is about her fans, music and career. Set some time aside, make a snack, grab some tissues and engross yourself in this documentary, because Five Foot Two is truly worth the watch.