The boozy and raw rock star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) meets the infectiously stunning Ally (Lady Gaga) at a drag bar after getting drunk soon after a rocking performance that can be straight out of an Eagles or Rolling Stone concert. Ally in that drag club is singing a mesmerizing version of “La Vie en Rose”, the drunk Jackson and the untapped mega talent Ally meet as both are awed by the talents of each other and nothing else. Jackson drops Ally back home and while she is walking towards her home, Jackson calls her back and says, ‘Hey’?, Ally responds by asking ‘What?’, Jackson says, “ I just wanted to take another look at you”.. Ally – Lady Gaga does a pose which signifies the beginning of her rise.
Set in the present day, the singing sensation, the diva Lady Gaga’s debut as an actress and actor Bradley Cooper debut as a helmer A STAR IS BORN is an infectiously seamless craving for love. The theme of the dramatic rise of one talent while another crashes dates back to over eight decades ago when Janet Gaynor played the aspiring Hollywood actress, and Fredric March played the fading movie star who helps in launching her career in 1937, later remade in 1954 starring Judy Garland and James Mason, of course the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson still remains in memories of old timers. The latest version starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper is undeniably heart pumping, soothing, blissful and devastating story of love that is filled with pure melodrama up to the brim. The age old story has inspired many stories all over, including AASHIQUI 2 from Bollywood that happened half a decade back, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 70’s classic ABHIMAAN had a few traces of that as well.
But this one starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga is as fresh as your first love, an opera that doesn’t desires to be loud and clear but still sounds right and feels right. Live vocals, playing the instruments live, gives this musical love story an authentic feel. Bradley Cooper after SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK delivers his best as an actor. Lady Gaga is on her way to be the next top movie star after this.
The best part of this adult modern day adage on love is that the director Cooper and his writers Eric Roth, Will Fetters don,t sensationalize the impulsive alcoholic behavior of the fading rock star Jackson Maine, Cooper’s chemistry with Gaga is intoxicatingly believable, these are two good people in love who admire each other’s talents, they both are artiste and want to be together at every ‘stage’ and age, above all, they are human and bound to falter. The musical concerts are shot keeping the eye and heart of a rock music enthusiast in mind, Cooper develops the momentum with arc of maverick that carries the compassion & humiliation to a resounding effect. Scenes where Jackson motivates Ally to sing songs written by her, when for the first time they perform together and at the end of the act, how Ally takes over, the scene when Ally has achieved some stardom and while practicing her notes requests her manager Rez (Rafi Gavron) to see if Jackson can share the stage with her and the subtle emotional reaction that follows on hearing Rez’s answer is telling. The Oscar night scene is heart rendering to the core.
A better showcase of the mindset prevalent in the music industry, especially pop would have added more wonders, the group dance and colour of hair just scratches the surface. Surprisingly, Ally doesn,t seems to be fighting for Jackson with Alex.
Music is a treat, co-written by Cooper and Gaga and marvelously performed, with contributions from Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson, the music rightly so plays the vital part.
There is so much in plenty to root for the hot Oscar favorite - A STAR IS BORN a love story that is devastatingly real in its emotions and colossally passionate to the core, justifying all the hype around, this Warner Bros and MGM picture is destined to be hailed as one of the best modern day love stories in recent times, Cooper and Gaga leave no stone unturned in creating the magic of making the world love these flawed individuals forever.
(The movie was reviewed after it opened at the 9th Jagran Film Festival in Mumbai; A STAR IS BORN is scheduled to release on October 5, 2018 in United States and October 12, 2018 in India)