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“A Star is Born” Shines a Light on the Downsides of Fame

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“A Star is Born” Shines a Light on the Downsides of Fame

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Upon seeing the previews for “A Star is Born,” I knew I had to find a way to see the film in theaters.

Although I did not have much background on the plot, I was intrigued by the music that I heard in the previews. After seeing the film, I can say that it was not at all what I was expecting.

For some reason, I figured that the movie would be a sort of uplifiting, music-centered romantic comedy.

It turned out to actually be a romantic, music-focused movie with an incredibly sad, dark, and realistic plot. Though there were funny moments within the film, “A Star is Born” was as far from a comedy as can be.

The film begins with an appearance from our main character, Jackson Maine, who is portrayed by Bradley Cooper. Maine is a very successful country singer.

Right away, it is revealed to the audience that Maine has substance abuse problems. This is incredibly obvious, since the first scene features him popping pills before taking the concert stage.

After finishing his show, Maine heads to the nearest bar to find alcohol. He finds himself in a drag bar.

Later that night in the bar, he watches the performance of a woman named Ally, portrayed by Lady Gaga. Ally is an aspiring singer.

Maine is blown away by Ally’s talent, so much so that he develops a not-so-subtle crush on her. He invites her to hang out with her that night and they spend the night talking about life and music; and so began their romantic relationship.

After Ally and Maine’s night, Maine is left completely infatuated with Ally. He even invites her to his concert in Arizona the next day.

Ally refuses at first, but ends up giving in and showing up at his show. As she stood in the wings of the stage, Maine took the opportunity to invite her on stage to sing with him.

The pair sang “Shallow,” an original song by Ally which was shared with Maine the night before.

I had heard the song before in the preview for the film, but I was still blown away by how gorgeous it was

I’ll be completely honest, when “Shallow” was sung I could not help but tear up. The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga was unbelievably genuine, and Gaga’s vocals in particular were incredible.

That moment in the movie was undoubtedly my favorite.

From that scene on, the relationship between Maine and Ally blooms quickly.

Ally becomes an overnight sensation after videos of her singing with Maine were released and Maine and Ally become a power couple, of sorts.

Maine, as an individual, however, began to head in a downward spiral.

His addiction to drugs, his alcoholism, and his depression led to a multitude of different problems in his life.

Ultimately, Maine’s success and his relationship from Ally did not save him from himself.

I will not spoil the film for those who have not seen it, but I will say this: The ending, as sad as it was, showed the audience a very realistic portrayal of the negative effects of fame in America.

The story of Jackson Maine is a story we have seen many times before, in the lives of many different artists.

Aspects of Maine’s character — his depression, his substance abuse problems, and his success through everything — have been traits that we have witnessed in many real people. We have seen these patterns in people like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse. These issues among musicians are very widespread and often ignored.

It is hard for our society to believe that even the most successful people struggle and deal with the problems seen in “A Star is Born.” I am so glad that this film shed light on those issues.

The film featured incredible performances from both Gaga and Cooper.

Cooper is a consistently impressive actor, but I was still struck by how great he was in his role. He portrayed Maine in a very realistic and heartfelt way. It was clear that he tried his absolute best to bring Maine to life.

Cooper’s exquisite portrayal of his character was part of what made the film so poignant and emotional. The audience becomes attached to Maine, even with his flaws, so his journey downhill was very hard to watch.

I was also impressed by Cooper’s singing skills. I did not expect for his voice to combine so well with Gaga’s.

Although Cooper was incredible as Maine, I felt that Gaga’s portrayal of Ally made “A Star is Born” amazing.

Gaga added a very caring and sweet quality to Ally’s character. But even with these kind qualities, Ally was still incredibly strong even when Maine was at his very worst.

Gaga’s incredible vocal skills also added to her performance. She had the ability to become Ally — even when she was singing.

The tragic story told in the film is a very important and realistic one. It was hard to watch at many points, but it was real. I would encourage people to buy tickets to see this film now.

“A Star is Born” has to be seen — by everyone.

About the Writer
Riley Johanson, Editor-in-Chief

Riley Johanson is a Sophomore at Livermore High School in her second year of Journalism. Riley was the Opinions Editor for The Torch last year and is now...

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