What ‘A Star is Born’ Taught Us about Mental Health and Addiction

The devastatingly beautiful film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, an unexpected duo that captured the hearts of many and then simultaneously shattered them into a million pieces, touched on issues including body confidence, mental health, addiction and inevitably, suicide. Lady Gaga’s character Ally is a young and talented singer discovered by Jack, played by Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film. 

A common theme in the film was the reality of depression despite success, fame and money. It highlighted the common theme of public figures struggling with mental health issues and not being happy despite all of the prosperity in their life. 

(Photo by Myke Simon)

The concept of addiction being a disease, which is highly debated by many, was portrayed in the film in a new way that seems more realistic. Jack struggled with substance abuse and depression that seems to take over much of his life. Perhaps it was so devastating because we subconsciously are rooting for someone as attractive as Bradley Cooper, or because we got to know Jack so well in the film and felt for him. The love story that seemed so magical and fulfilled has a dark side that is incredibly familiar. 

Despite the deep message that sticks with you long after seeing the film, the musical performances and the developing love story makes it all bitter sweet and so worthwhile.