Movie review: A Star is Born emotionally devastating


graphic made by Lilly Player

Jack and Ally are embracing while on stage

by Lilly Player, Managing Editor

This article contains spoilers.

Some may think I’m weak, but after seeing the 2018 remake of A Star is Born, I was an emotional wreck. I walked out of the theatre with tears streaming down my face, and all I could think was, “Why Jack? How could you be so asinine?”

For the past month I have been watching the trailer daily, almost like a ritual. I listened to the remarkable soundtrack when I drove, read, or fell asleep. In the end, the trailer in no way prepared me for the movie.

The film made its debut on October 5, and it has brought in $65.2 million to the box-office. Directed by Bradley Cooper, this is his first major film as a director. It stars Lady Gaga as Ally, the struggling singer, and Cooper as Jack, the famous rock star. Jack was a serious alcoholic and drug addict long before he met Ally but she tries to better him. They fall in love and she rises to fame while he fades from the spotlight.

Ally starts out as an awkward, struggling artist that slowly opens up to Jack. Throughout the movie the audience got to watch her bloom into aconfident woman, in both her appearance and singing.

As Ally’s fame skyrockets, I saw her change throughout the movie. Her music becomes more superficial and she changes her hair and looks. She lets the fame and her manager change her into what society wants in a singer; Jack starts to notice it too. As he tries to bring back the Ally he fell in love with, they fight more and say hurtful things to each other.

Similar to the plot of the three other movies, A Star is Born (1937), A Star is Born (1954), and A Star is Born (1976), men fall while women rise in all four movies. At first, each male lead encourages the fame of the leading woman, but as the men’s fame start to fade they spiral into a depression.

Jack and his older brother, Bobby, go through several disagreements, and they learn that their father was a raging alcoholic who, in his 60s, impregnated Jack’s mother–who was 18 years old. It becomes obvious that Bobby despises their deceased father while Jack seems to have him on a pedestal. Towards the end of the film as Jack is getting out of a truck, he pauses and says, “It was you I idolized. Not dad.” The camera then pans to Bobby to show him crying.

When Jack brings Ally on stage to sing their song “Shallow,” I was instantly transported. I got goosebumps, and I felt like I was actually in the crowd watching them live, seeing their love for each other start to blossom. It didn’t feel like it was behind a screen, it felt real. That’s one of the countless reasons the movie is so alluring.

In her song, “Shallow,” Gaga exuded genuine emotion and it felt like she was truly experiencing that horrible form of heartbreak, mourning her soulmate. Needless to say, I was crying hard watching Gaga sing so beautifully to the love of her life. 

The movie ends with Ally singing a song in tribute of Jack called “I’ll never love again,” which he wrote for her. She stands in a crowd of people, and delivers a jaw-dropping performance. Gaga pours raw emotion into everything she did, from her voice to the tears that cascaded down her face. At the end of the scene there is a transition from Gaga singing the song, to a past scene that shows Jack playing the song for Ally. The whole ordeal left me sobbing.

Jack and Ally defined romance with one of their most swoon worthy scenes, which is played out in the beginning and end of the film. Jack says “Hey” to a retreating Ally, to which she turns around and replies “What?” which brings in Jack’s “I just wanted to get another look at you.”

The film was beautiful, both in the music and the cinematography. 

If you’re interested in listening to the soundtrack, and crying as hard as I did at Ally’s tribute to Jack, you can find it here.

A Star is Born was a tear jerking, mesmerising film that I think everyone should go see.