During one of the first scenes of the film, Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), an already-well-known rock and roll star, summarizes what Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut remake of A Star is Born is truly about and directly ties into one of Plato’s quotes, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”. Jack tells Ally (Lady Gaga), “Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.” From this scene on out I knew I was in for a special film. A Star is Born tells a story of a how not only a young couple falls in love, but how it and their careers end up destroying both of them, proving to be a unique twist on the problems associated with fame.
Where the film could have went wrong – the chemistry between Gaga and Cooper – the film exceeded my expectations. Sometimes love relationships within films come off as fake. This can often happen due to poorly written dialogue or over acting. However, the chemistry between Gaga and Cooper is so well portrayed that I bought all of it. Early conversations (including the quote used above) between the two characters are fascinating because they ask each other existential questions. Why do musicians love music? What’s the purpose of performing? Jack answers these questions. He says that the point of existence for musicians is that they something have something to say (as noted in the quote above). This fascinating conversation immediately grabbed me. I was so interested that later in the film when tragic events occurred to the lead characters, I was concerned for them.
The other wonderful aspect about the film is that it accurately critiques fame. I don’t want to really get into to how it critiques fame because that would spoil the film, but it truthfully examines how fame can ruin a life. As for negatives, the second half of the film comes very quickly. I felt that some events that took place were done very fast and somewhat unbelievable, however that’s only really nitpicking. A Star is Born fully explores what fame does to a person and asks important existential questions regarding the point of music, telling a wonderful story through these important messages.