“Tell me something, boy. Are you tired trying to fill that void or do you need more? Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?”
These lyrics set the tone and overall theme for the 2018 version of “A Star Is Born” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. This revamp brings light to how the music industry discriminates against artists who don’t have a certain look. It also shows the main characters’ struggle with alcohol abuse, depression and loss.
Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, is a rockstar who struggles with alcoholism. His story starts off with him finishing a concert and ending up in the nearest bar. Inside the club, the audience is waiting for the next performer to get on stage.
Jackson heads to the bar and immediately starts drinking, then the performer comes onto the stage singing “La Vie en Rose.” From the looks of the performer Ally, played by Lady Gaga, and the crowd, Jackson pieces together that the bar is a gay bar, and the performer is a woman dressed up as a drag queen. He becomes captivated by her performance, and near the end of the song, they make eye contact.
The manager leads him backstage after the show. That’s when drag superstars, Willam and Shangela, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” are introduced as a comedy duo. This is the only time in the movie that was comedic, whether it be Willam’s constant flirting with Jackson or Shangela reading the other drag queens. These scenes gave a great mix of emotions, adding to the seriousness and tragedy of the story.
The next big scene in the movie is when Ally skips work to go to a Jackson Maine concert. She’s escorted backstage and after Jackson’s set. She is pulled onto the stage and they sing the Golden Globe Awarded song, “The Shallow.” This kickstarts her career and after a few more shows, she is contacted by a manager.
The rest of the movie follows Ally as she rises to stardom and their relationship becomes a marriage. The more Ally changes to conform to the music industries standards, the worse Jackson’s drinking habit gets. This results in Ally choosing between continuing her stardom or her husband.
The result of her choice is shocking and heartbreaking. This movie comes highly recommended to people who don’t love the typical romance movie, but beautiful tragedies. This movie has been nominated for many awards and has given drag queens a voice in modern day movie culture. It is already out in digital copies and will come out on a hard copy soon.