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Movie Review: ‘A Star Is Born’ out of love, loss and abhimaan

  • Published at 11:23 pm January 29th, 2019
Photo of 'A Star is Born' with awards banner
'A Star is Born' is a front-runner in the Oscar marathon | Facebook

Jackson Maine (Cooper) is a rock star with a drinking problem, and one night at a bar he discovers a talented unknown singer, Ally Campana (Gaga). They fall madly in love, becoming partners in both music and in life. But as her career takes off, he starts to fall apart – threatening all they have built

“A Star Is Born” has a lot going for it – live performances from its incredible original soundtrack, insights into the celebrity machine, and deep-dive psychological portraits of artists at work. But the film’s true power comes from the palpable chemistry between its two leads, Bradley Cooper and pop superstar Lady Gaga, giving performances of a lifetime in this heart-wrenching love story.

Jackson Maine (Cooper) is a rock star with a drinking problem, and one night at a bar he discovers a talented unknown singer, Ally Campana (Gaga). They fall madly in love, becoming partners in both music and in life. But as her career takes off, he starts to fall apart – threatening all they have built.

If this sounds familiar, it is because this tale as old as fame has been remade at least five times: twice in Bollywood (“Abhimaan” with Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri in 1973, and “Aashiqui 2” in 2013), and three times in Hollywood (the original in 1937, with Judy Garland in 1954, and with Barbra Streisand in 1976). Each time it was made, the film captured the zeitgeist of the relationship between men and women in its era, as well as what it meant to be famous at that time. For as much as this is a love story, it is even more a story about two gifted people engaging in the creative process and finding their voices.

Thus in the making of this movie, life truly imitates art, for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga were also the creative powerhouses behind this project. Cooper co-starred, co-wrote and co-produced the film, which was also his directorial debut. What could have turned into a bland vanity project instead became a passion project of great personal significance. Cooper and Gaga also co-wrote many of the songs for the movie, including the Oscar frontrunner for best song, “Shallow”, with its unforgettable guttural howl that will make your hair stand on end.