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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


‘A Star Is Born’ shines light on substance abuse, pressures of stardom

Chemistry between Cooper, Gaga keeps film remake refreshing, insightful for audience members
Courtesy of WUD Film

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga bring authentic chemistry to the big screen in the recently released film, “A Star Is Born.”

Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper directs and stars in the film alongside Lady Gaga — who, come February, will likely be known as an Academy Award winner herself. The stellar cast also includes Sam Elliott and Dave Chappelle.

One of the main characters, Ally (Gaga), never thought her talent would amount to anything. Working a catering job with an intolerant boss, her only freedom came from performing at her former place of employment: a drag bar.


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The stars aligned for Ally’s career and personal life as she serendipitously met Jack (Cooper), a rock-star with a deteriorating lifestyle. Together, the two revealed their most intimate vulnerabilities through raw, meaningful songwriting and formed a relationship that would be known — somewhat notoriously — across the country.

This release marks the third remake of the original 1937 film of the same name, but shouldn’t be disregarded as a sloppy knock-off, as most remakes are. Cooper and Gaga created an original soundtrack to accompany the motion picture, which allowed their chemistry off-screen to seep into the minds of their respective characters.

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The new music also differentiates this project from its past versions. It’s the same general story, but told in a different way — just like all music is the same, but interpreted differently.

“Twelve notes between any octave. Twelve notes and the octave repeats,” Elliott’s character, Boby, said. “It’s the same story told over and over. All the artist can offer the world is how they see those 12 notes.”

All Cooper could offer the world was how he saw the story and script. His talent as a director and screenwriter is equal to his talent as an actor and his talent as a singer. The duets between Ally and Jack reinforce the natural chemistry Cooper and Gaga share. They were able to make this love story a reality for the viewers.

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Ally questions her identity over and over again as producers and agents want to turn her into just another pop-star. When she and Jack collaborate to sing “Shallow,” the words resonate with the crowd.

While the two are writing the song, they sit down in a parking lot and think of lines. The atmosphere is real because they aren’t in a fancy studio or performing on an award show — the environment, like the lyrics, is raw.

This all changes when Ally creates studio-recorded music that lacks substance like “Why Did You Do That?” — the music is shallow.

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Career highs and lows keep the audience engaged at all times, and the music, in combination with the storyline, can create laughter, immediately followed by tears.

This film is more than a story that’s being projected onto the big screen — it’s a story of passionate love, heartbreak, destruction and fruition that inevitably will become relatable to everyone as they maneuver their way through life.

This film does not end when the theatre lights turn on and you remember where you are and what your next task of the day is. This movie leaves you wondering. What if things had turned out differently? What if one event could have changed the course of someone’s life? These are questions that most people repetitively ask themselves over and over again.

Rating: 5/5

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