Hollywood has repeatedly released the film A Star is Born with different main characters since the 1930s.
Janet Gaynor and Fredric March became the main stars in A Star is Born in 1937. After that, Judy Garland and James Mason (A Star is Born, 1954), and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (A Star is Born, 1976).
Hollywood is now re-releasing the latest story from A Star is Born - which is actually a loose adaptation of the film by George Cukor, What Price Hollywood? (1932). A Star in Born in 2018 stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
The script of the film A Star is Born 2018 is written by Cooper together with Eric Roth (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, 2011) and Will Fetters (The Best of Me, 2014). Cooper's debut film as a director takes more elements from the previous A Star is Born films.
The latest film of A Star is Born still tells the same familiar story: two characters with the complexity of each life meet, fall in love, and finally change the flow of life with each other. It's a tale as old as time. So what interesting things can Cooper give in his A Star is Born?
In his latest film, Cooper plays a famous country singer named Jackson Maine who has an addiction problem on alcoholic beverages. Accidentally, Jackson met a waitress named Ally Campana (Lady Gaga) who was performing singing to a bar he visited. Impressed by the talents shown by Ally, Jackson was inspired to make Ally a permanent guest vocalist in the series of concerts he was going to hold.
The relationship between them began to grow and develop: Jackson became a mentor for Ally in getting to know the music industry, Ally was able to make Jackson reduce his drinking habits, and after falling in love they decided to get married.
At the same time, Ally's career as a solo singer continued to climb and even made her one of the most popular pop singers in the United States. And that popularity slowly began to have an adverse effect in Jackson and Ally's marital relationship.
A Star is Born started the first half of his story very convincingly - if you don't want to describe it as a perfect introductory moment. Cooper is not only able to dynamically build and introduce the characters of Jackson Maine and Ally Campana, but also a series of footage of problems encountered in their daily lives, to the introductory moments and the initial journey of their romantic relationship.
Familiar but packed neatly, warmly, and wrapped in rows of country and pop songs that are reliable enough to produce smiles on the faces of the listeners. Unfortunately, the success of the storytelling in the early half of A Star is Born then transformed into pleasure that came too early and lasted too short when the film was unable to maintain its performance and then fell into a story that felt monotonous and tended to be boring at a later stage.
The main problem faced by A Star is Born comes from the minimalism of deepening the conflict presented by the script of this film. With a premise that has been repeatedly explored by various Hollywood-made films that have the same tone, A Star is Born has failed to bring new touches and perspectives in its story. Cooper, Roth, and Fetters are actually trying to present a view of the music industry in the modern era that often ignores the musical qualities of industry players in order to present sensational offerings that sell more. Unfortunately the story's creation only touches the surface of the problem and never feels deeper.
More focus was given to Jackson Maine characters - which made Ally Campana's character more attractive to be marginalized - and also made many parts of the film's narration feel weak. Just look at how A Star is Born wants to portray Ally Campana as a figure of extraordinary talent but has never given a portion of a story that is truly capable of showing that ability. The portrayal of the Jackson Maine character also doesn't look better. Although present with a broader narrative, the character has never been able to be presented in an interesting narrative. The conflicts he faces appear superficial and often only present and pass away.
Cooper's directional capability must also be admitted still feels shaky and fragile in many parts of the story. Cooper's attempt to dramatize some of the conflicts that appear in the timeline for telling A Star is Born actually makes the narrative of the film become long-winded and less effective. It was tiring, especially when Cooper decided to present the film's story in 135 minutes without ever being able to present a truly binding conflict. And as a film with a musical atmosphere, the songs that were presented throughout the story of A Star is Born also felt mediocre - especially the songs that appeared after Shallow became the showstopper as well as the best song presentation for the film. Cooper at least managed to provide classy quality production directions. Arrangement of images, sounds, music, cinematography, to make up and present clothing is convincing.
Cooper also got the support of the quality of the maximum acting performance from the cast of A Star is Born. Although her vocal ability often feels beyond and overshadows her acting abilities, Lady Gaga's appearance clearly succeeded in helping Ally Campana's character to attend to the attention throughout the film presentation. And despite being present in a character that has a minimalist share of narration, Sam Elliott successfully gives an emotional touch to many stories. If the direction ability is still not well honed, Cooper's acting appearance actually appears so strong and almost flawless. Cooper revived the problematic Jackson Maine figure into a character that still felt humanistic and was able to gain sympathy from every audience. Cooper is even able to present a vocal look that does not disappoint and sits sweetly with the vocals displayed by Lady Gaga. It is definitely one of the best acting performances given by Cooper.
A Star is Born is clearly not a bad presentation. It's a pity that Cooper wasn't so capable of producing a more impressive overall presentation. Well ... at least A Star is Born remains a success to prove Cooper's ability as a reliable and brave actor in handling challenging roles in his career. And, maybe, in the future Cooper, the director, will again appear in a stronger presentation. [C]
A Star Is Born
Director : Bradley Cooper
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga