How a Star is Born Dealt with Important Issues Whilst Ripping My Heart Out

How a Star is Born Dealt with Important Issues Whilst Ripping My Heart Out

 

*SPOILER ALERT*

Lady Gaga basically runs pop music and the film industry by this point. A Star is Born is the third remake of the 1937 film with the same name and the other two remakes have had Hollywood icons such as Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand as the main female roles – so, Gaga had some pretty big shoes to fill, and she killed it.

​The film centers around Bradley Cooper’s character (Jack), a country music star who is dealing with a drug and alcohol addiction. He meets Lady Gaga’s character, Ally, in a drag bar (where she nails her performance of La Vie en Rose), and they fall in love. What the film succeeds in doing the most is making the viewers fall in love with Ally and Jack’s relationship, within the first scene of their meeting you’re practically obsessed. However, his addiction is a constant battle within the film and is the source of all the drama: good, bad, funny and emotional.

 

Jack is either drunk or high for almost all of their relationship, and his death at the end of the film brings up an important topic regarding how far a woman should go to ‘save’ her partner. One of the final scenes of the film features Ally expressing that she feels as though she let Jack down as she was not there enough to help him, despite cancelling her tour.  This is eerily similar to stories which were recently in the news. Specifically, after rapper Mac Miller died of an overdose in September. After the news of his death reached the internet, a large amount of people put the blame on his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande as she did not ‘look after’ him well enough. Obviously, this was met with backlash, as it is not a woman’s role to save a man. Clearly, the guilt felt by Ally in A Star is Born is natural as she’s just lost her husband and the issue of the assumption that women need to look after their partners was addressed well in the film, but it is still a prying stereotype in society in general.

 

In my opinion, A Star is Born deals with the topic of addiction extremely well. Obviously, this is a delicate topic and it is shown in the film as such as Jack’s struggles are not portrayed lightly. Yes, there are some scenes which show Jack drunk and are humorous, but they are quickly followed by some seriously dark scenes which show the intensity of addiction for both the addict and those around them. His tumultuous relationship with his brother, difficulty coming to grips with the death of his father, and inability to accept Ally’s booming career all stem from his struggle with drugs and alcohol, causing him to be portrayed as a toxic character at times. This is rightfully one so, as he is abusive towards Ally and has no problem with insulting her body and her career, which is not okay. However, the writers’ make it clear that addiction is a disease and should be treated as such and make time for the audience to see Jack’s understanding and hear his apology for his mistakes.

Not only is the film incredible to watch, the entire soundtrack is sheer perfection. It reached number 1 in countless countries and deservedly so, every song is a banger and it has a perfect mix of country, pop, and emotional ballads. Gaga and Cooper’s voices blend perfectly in Music to my Eyes and the bop that is Shallow, it’s practically like listening angels. Cooper’s solo standouts Alibi and Black Eyes are heavy country and I’m definitely not mad, when they come on shuffle I feel as though I could pop on some cowboy boots, wave an American flag and fit right in. On the other hand, Gaga’s solo numbers are a solid mix of pop and emotional ballads. If you’re looking for a good, classic pop song, Heal Me and Why Did You Do That? are definitely for you. The most iconic lyric being “Why'd you come around me with an ass like that?”. In complete contrast, her two most notable ballads Always Remember Us This Way and I’ll Never Love Again are guaranteed to make you cry, but they’re worth it. Also, there is a version which includes some dialogue from the most important scenes in the film if you want to recreate this masterpiece in your head even more.

 

In general, A Star is Born is not an easy watch. Although there are some light-hearted scenes, specifically with iconic drag queens Willam and Shangela (they almost steal the show) and Cooper’s dog Charlie, there’s always the feeling that your heart is about to be ripped out of your chest at any second. The film is an emotional rollercoaster of happiness, worry, fear, sadness, and most importantly grief. It’s a film for music lovers, romance lovers, and anyone who wants to see some good acting. Basically, get ready to have your soul destroyed, but you’ll definitely want to go back again.

All images from Google