A combination of terrific performances from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and a mixture of enchanting romance, the growth of a star (and the fall of a star), and the eventual tragic end makes A star is born a beautiful and inspiring film that shows both the highs and the lows when one attains stardom.
The film opens with a rock concert. Jack (Bradley Cooper) sings “And I’m all alone by the wayside” in front of a cheering crowd. We, then, see Ally (Lady Gaga) walking down the street singing “When all the world is a hopeless jumble and the raindrops tumble all around, heaven opens a magic lane”. The lonely Jack sees a hopeful Ally in a nightclub singing a French song. Jack wears a smile that shows his instant admiration for a captivating voice of Ally. He goes backstage and asks her out (Loved how Ally feels shy as he looks at her romantically). There begins the rise of a star with the help of an established artist. A star is born, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, illuminates not just the ascension of a singer but the fall of a star as well.
There is no freshness in the plot as, of course, the movie marks the third remake of William A. Wellman’s film (same title) that released in 1937. It can be divided into two parts: The first one is where Ally’s talent gets recognised by Jack, the charming romance between them grows, and Ally gets to sing on a big stage before eventually signing her own album with a record company. And the second one is where the relationship between them is falling apart, Ally’s singing career has touched sky-high and Jack ends up in a drug rehabilitation program. While the former depicts the glory, fame and love, the latter represents the grief and dilemma.
The love angle between Jack and Ally is the standout feature of this film. It’s going to be talked about for years to come. Jack is truly enamoured of her. He looks at her as if she is the most precious person he has ever met in his life. He drops her off at home and while she gets down from the car and heads towards the door, he calls her and says that he wanted to take another look at her. He is sitting beside her bed while she is enjoying her pleasing slumber and he just can’t take his eyes off of her.
In a known plot, as this film has, it is important not to stretch too much when it comes to delineating the process of becoming a star. So, amidst the romance, her stardom kicks off as well. In one scene, Jack emphasises the significance of “talent” over “looks” and, in another scene, she presents a song to him which she wrote herself but is not confident enough if that is good enough to show to the world. Impressed to a great extent and charmed by her beauty, he asks her to join him on stage and that is it. As Ally hoped, heaven has really opened a magic lane for her. It was so beautiful to see them singing “Shallow” together.
Probably I was mesmerised by this relationship so much so that I felt the film got draggy and jading once the problems in their life kick in. But I liked how the film exhibited the harsh realities in the life of a star. When Ally is giving her speech on stage after winning the Grammy Award, she is joined by a drunk and unstable Jack who pees in his pants. It is disheartening to see the embarrassment on Ally’s face. Bobby (Sam Elliott), Jack’s half brother, says, in another scene, that people are still listening to Jack’s songs while Jack has succumbed to drug and alcohol addiction. Nevertheless, a combination of terrific performances from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and a mixture of enchanting romance, the growth of a star (and the fall of a star), and the eventual tragic end makes A star is born a beautiful and inspiring film that shows both the highs and the lows when one attains stardom.