By James Mercadante
Bradley Cooper made his directorial debut with “A Star is Born,” and he presents a reimagined version of the 1937 film that tells the same tale in an intimate, yet authentic way – but don’t expect to come out feeling completely euphoric after seeing the film.
The movie forces you to watch and ruminate over pressing issues that people face every day, and centers itself around the relationship between Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), an infamous songwriter and alcoholic, and Ally (Lady Gaga), who is an unknown artist struggling to establish herself in the industry.
Jackson discovers Ally at a drag bar, where she sings “La Vie En Rose” in French, with drag-inspired makeup and a theatrical presentation. After their first encounter, the movie follows their romance and musical journey as they both support one another in their endeavors, whether its Ally giving Jackson musical inspiration or Jackson pushing Ally to find her voice.
One of the strongest aspects of the film is its soundtrack. The most acclaimed track, “Shallow,” is the first song the couple sings on stage together, which sets the standards high for the upcoming songs. Cooper sings with conviction and validates himself to be a true storyteller, while Gaga gives the crowd chills with her powerful vocals and raw passion.
The film was Gaga’s debut as a cinematic actress, yet you might have mistakenly assumed she’s been in the industry for years. She emulates excellence and proficiency and her performance was compelling, emotional and impactful, thus making this film even more spectacular.
“A Star is Born” is quite lengthy at times. It includes scenes less entertaining than others, however, it gives viewers an opportunity to emotionally invest in the characters and watch a beautiful narrative unfold.
The details in this film, from a tap of the nose to a simple lyric, are important because it reminds us to appreciate the details of our mundane lives, to fight for what we are passionate about and to contemplate the meaning of being human.