“A Star is Born” Review

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“A Star is Born” Review

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

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People file into the theater with buckets of popcorn. The sustained noise of conversation slowly comes to a halt as the previews roll by. The movie finally starts, coming in with a bang. Electric guitar fills the air, as we witness the beginning of the end of a rockstar.

I had been wanting to see “A Star is Born” since it came out. The reviews seemed good and everybody whom I talked loved it. However, a combination of a crushing schedule and whispers that the suicide scene was too intense kept me away and gave me an excuse to not see it. My mother had other plans, however. One weekend, my mom said we were going to see “A Star is Born” any way we possibly could. We promptly found showtimes at Edwards Greenway Theatre and drove as fast as we could to see this movie.

The movie starts off by contrasting the lifestyles of Jackson Maine, international country-rock superstar, and Ally, a 31-year-old hotel worker/aspiring singer-songwriter who lives with her father. Maine’s, as you can guess, is very reckless. He drinks like a fish and does drugs (very hard drugs, mind you) like he isn’t about to play in front of tens of thousands of people. Ally, by contrast, lives a remarkably dull life. She works in the kitchen of a hotel most hours of the day and week. She gets to sing at the drag bar where she used to waitress once a week. Ally and Maine’s worlds collide when Maine steps into the bar extremely intoxicated when Ally is performing the classic “La Vie en Rose”. The chemistry between them is immediately electrifying from the moment they meet. Things progress quickly. Within ten minutes they go from sitting in a parking lot to Ally and her friend flying on a private jet to Maine’s concert.

The movie always manages to cast Ally in being both naive and weathered. When Ally is dealing with Maine being extremely intoxicated in front of guests, she tries to reassure them by telling them, “Don’t worry, he’s like this all the time.” This comes across as not Ally trying to cover up Maine’s addiction, but rather Ally’s ignorance coming in the way of her helping Maine effectively. On the other side of things, in the beginning of the movie, when Ally and Maine are sitting in the parking lot, Maine asks her why she has not become famous yet. Ally responds that she has tried repeatedly and that she knows she is a good singer, but various people in the music industry had told her she was too ugly to ever make it. The reason I point this out is because in previous remakes of “A Star is Born”, “Ally” was always shown as naive and seeking guidance in a world of males. This Ally has been through a lot and knows her worth.

“A Star is Born” has been made and remade a total of four times (five if you count the Bollywood version). This is a story that has been repeated over and over again. The story of one star rising and another star crashing. This is a movie that could very easily feel stale and cliched. However, there is never a moment in this movie that feels recycled from previous iterations. It continually feels fresh. The characters feel like real people. The environment feels like it could be a real place. Nothing in this movie feels fake. In the world of superficial social media and of overused plot points and cliches and of profit over passion, “A Star is Born” delivers what is so needed. An authentic, raw, emotional love story.

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