A Star is Born: the Other Side of Fame

A star is born is a story of feelings, of descent into hell, of love … A hard but very real story that will invite us to reflect on various issues related to the world of entertainment.

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Everything is ready for the big cinema ceremony, the Oscars are just around the corner. We already had our appetizer with the Golden Globes and now, finally, we know the name of the candidates to take the coveted statuette. One of the names that has resounded to hype and saucer since its premiere in October 2018 is born a star, the film by Bradley Cooper that has fallen in love with much of the public.

A star is born with 7 Oscar nominations, including: best film, best actor and best actress. But everything can happen, the film was also one of the favorites in the Golden Globes and, however, had to settle only with the award for best original song.

A Star is Born is a film that has its roots in the world of music: from the dreamer musicians who take their first steps in night bars, to the sharp claws of the powerful industry. A scenario that Gaga knows first hand and that allows it to shine with its own light. And is that Lady Gaga gives us some spectacular musical moments, that more than one will make your hair stand on end.

WARNING: The article contains spoilers.

A star is born: silencing criticism

When we talk about remake, problems arise and that is, if the original work is widely known and respected, the remake will receive negative reviews even before its release. And, in the case that concerns us today, the shadow of the past was of a greater magnitude, because it is not only a version, but, of the original, two others had already been made. A total of 3 films that narrate the same story weighed on A star is born.

Since the original 1937, the story that has been told has varied a bit; the stars of that film were not dedicated to music, but to the cinema. But the love plot and the harrowing drama are present in all its variations. The change of industry is not an invention of Bradley Cooper, but, in 1976, Frank Pierson brought this story to us by the hand of Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

A star was born generated expectation because, in addition to being a remake, it meant the jump of Cooper to the direction and Gaga to the big screen. Two well-known faces that decide to open their way exploring new media, new artistic forms. Lady Gaga had already taken her first steps in the world of acting with some small role and as a protagonist in the fifth season of the series American Horror Story. But a feature film is bigger words and, hence, doubts.

Against all odds, the film has won critical applause. Both Cooper and Gaga perform an exceptional job, and the latter manages to alleviate with his voice the drama and darkness that houses the film.

The person behind the artist

Many times, we idealize artists so much that we forget that, behind the mask, there is a true person who feels and lives just like us. Industry and the mass media, in part, have contributed to this idealization. Thus, artists cease to be people and become products, objects of consumption.

Coping with the stress of a tour, sleeping every night in a different place and having to surrender 100% to a massive audience that expects to see the best of you is not at all an easy task. For this reason, many artists have been involved in problems of: alcoholism, drugs, depression, etc. All this linked to an unimaginable exhibition: everything you do and everything you say is susceptible to being questioned, even your physical appearance. The world of the image seems to go hand in hand with music and cinema. We have turned artists into models, when that should not be their function. All this is minutely captured in A star is born.

Jakson is a famous musician, but with a serious problem of alcoholism and drugs. Ally, on the other hand, is a young waitress with a great passion for music, but she has to settle for acting in a night bar where she shares the stage with some drag queens. In this nocturnal environment, their paths will cross; Jakson will be captivated by Ally’s voice and also by her naturalness and innocence.

Thanks to Jackson, Ally reach fame, but it will have to detach itself from its essence, from its lyrics, from its hair… We usually judge those artists who sell themselves, who leave aside their identity to gain a place in the music scene. What we do not usually think is that, sometimes, hard as it may seem, many have no choice but to go through that hoop, once they reach their goal, show their natural talent and their true facet. Jakson judges Ally, he has not sold like her, however, he has fallen into another of the monsters of fame: addictions.

Understanding fame

It is difficult to imagine everything that involves being a character linked to the spectacle of the masses. A star is born, it brings us closer to that reality. Destroy the idyllic paradise that they have wanted to sell us and envelops us in a very human story in a totally dehumanized world.

The situation of Jackson is the most tragic, he has everything to be happy and, nevertheless, he is involved in a hell from which it is very difficult to leave. Ally will support him to the end, coming to forgive what seemed unforgivable, but love and understanding are above all. Ally understands that Jackson is sick, that despite having shamed her publicly, he does not deserve to be judged or condemned for it.

However, the manager of Ally can not think of anything other than his business and warns Jackson that he must get away from Ally, that all he’s going to get is ruining his life. These words, said to a person without problems of addictions or self-esteem, may not trigger a dramatic outcome.

However, Jackson, as Ally has told us, is sick, and those words are a stab to the vestiges of his self-esteem. For this reason, he decides to end his life. In the final scene, we see that Ally is already a consecrated artist, no longer needs artifice to show her talent and pays a fantastic tribute to her late husband. Thus, we witness the two sides of a ruthless industry: the reification, but later ascension of Ally and the descent into the underworld of Jackson.

A star is born, it presents a story that comes to Gaga like a glove; she, like Ally, began singing in bars until she jumped to the fore as the eccentric artist we know today. However, if we review his musical career, we will realize the great evolution that it presents. In her first songs, her voice is not the most important, but in recent years, Gaga has become a respected artist and no one doubts her quality as a singer.

Artists grow, reinvent and evolve. Gaga has not detached herself from her extravagant character, but she has shown us that there is something more. That is not a simple pretty face, nor the rare girl who wanted to sell us; Gaga has a great talent as a singer and has pleasantly surprised us in her role as an actress.

A star is born, it gives us a story full of feelings, love and understanding. A beautiful story updated and adapted to the times that are running, appealing to that humanity that seem to have snatched us away.

“How can you stand that people speak to you as if you were not flesh and blood?”

-A star has been born-