A Star Is Born is not an original story. In fact, the 2018 version is the fourth remake of the musical romantic drama following in the footsteps of the original 1937 film, the 1954 classic with Judy Garland and the 1976 rock musical with Barbra Streisand. Despite being a story that we all know, the 2018 adaptation of A Star Is Born feels current, relevant and fresh. Bradley Cooper is a multi-talented threat; producer, director, co-writer and he even plays a starring role as lead actor. Despite being a known and celebrated actor, his co-star Stefani Germanotta more famously known as Lady Gaga manages to share the spotlight and shine just as bright as Cooper in this film.
Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a seasoned professional country singer-songwriter who suffers from an alcohol and drug addiction. With a somewhat mechanical and blue-printed life, Jackson somehow finds himself in a drag bar one fateful night and ends up meeting Gaga’s character Ally at the venue. Although two completely different spirits, the pair connect instantly when their lives collide, due to their common love for songwriting and music. Although Jackson is a famous country singer, he is quite grounded despite his demons and helps waitress Ally on the path to fame. It is only when Ally gains recognition for her talents from others do the pair start their slow demise and race in opposite directions.
The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is electric, working so incredibly well on-screen together. While watching the film, it came to a point where I almost forgot who the actors were during the film and started to believe that the characters Jackson and Ally were real, because they feel real. I enjoyed both music from Jackson and Ally’s characters and was surprisingly impressed by how well Cooper and Gaga’s voices go together. It’s no secret that Lady Gaga is a known and talented musician, and while she did impress me with her incredible songwriting and vocals that she lends to the character, I was blown away by Bradley Cooper more. Not just because he can also sing (despite being more known as an actor) and write songs just as well for the film, but because he can stand and sound vocally just as strong alongside her.
Yes, the cast, cinematography, editing, costumes and narrative are all great. But what really sold me and brought me home is the music. Not only are musical numbers; “Shallow”, “Maybe It’s Time”, “Always Remember Us This Way” all really well written original songs, but they fit perfectly into the storytelling. My favourite however, “I’ll Never Love Again” is by far the strongest musical piece of A Star Is Born. Referenced earlier on in the film, the puzzle pieces come together in the end to create a moving and heartbreaking scene that left me crying long after I had left the cinema.
Despite being a remake, Cooper’s directorial debut has its own identity. I can easily share with you that not only is A Star Is Born a moving and tragic love story that plays all the right notes, but it is cinematic perfection. I don’t always agree when people rave about movies, but I’m telling you now – the hype is real. You need to see this film. A Star Is Born is a fucking masterpiece.