Reminiscing Bradley Cooper's 'A Star is Born' on his birthday
Bradley Cooper is a name that is synonymous with good looks, charm, and panache. The actor has donned many iconic roles across various genres. In 2018, he debuted as a director with A Star is Born and the world got a taste of his way of storytelling. On his 48th birthday, we look back at one of his finest performances on celluloid.
Storyline of the film
The fourth official remake tells the age-old story of a successful musician (Jackson Maine played by Cooper) fighting his demons and falling in love with a struggling musician (Ally played by Lady Gaga). As their love story grows stronger, the successful musician fades away.
Age-old story treated like music
Cooper treats the film like one of its dialogues. Ally says, "Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave, 12 notes, and the octave repeats. It's the same story, told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer the world is how they see those 12 notes." Maine's character is way more than the usual jealousy and insecurity.
Characters rooted in writing
Cooper weaves the characters around its roots, childhood trauma, and ingrained pain. His storytelling prowess can be seen in his choice of narrative. The film starts with the usual daily lives of both characters and as the film progresses, viewers are introduced to their insecurities and inhibitions. The character arc of everyone including the supporting actors like Sam Elliot has been powerful.
Nuanced romance and a sense of reality
The romantic scenes are subtle and nuanced. A handheld camera is used to make the viewers feel the dynamic tension and a sense of reality. Cooper wrote scenes after being inspired by real-life situations that happened to the protagonists. This tragic romantic drama is a testament to life. His voice modulation to sound like a countryside man added a different texture to the film.
Jack of two trades
To date, very few have mastered the art of directing and acting in the same film. Cooper's Hollywood directorial defies all preconceived notions and has emerged successful. It never felt like a first-time director's film. The actor starts living in the skin of Maine. His own history with addiction helped him to understand the perils and how it slows down daily cognitive functioning.
Building up the character
Maine's childhood trauma has become a part of his identity which is not seen by most people around. Cooper's understanding of this loneliness and trying to fill the void with his alcohol addiction is subtle yet remarkable. He longs for solace and he does find it on the night he meets Ally and sings, "Maybe it's time to let the old ways die..."
Maine and Ally connecting with each other
Ally understands the intricacies of Maine's character and connects with him instantly. He also understands the insecurity which forbids Ally to come out of her shell. They both fit like a puzzle and their journey starts when Ally rises slowly while singing the lines, "I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in, I'll never meet the ground..."
Cooper's portrayal of Maine
Maine is raw, unapologetic, vulnerable, obnoxious at certain parts, yet lovable. Cooper makes viewers feel the love in every stare and the sadness after every fight. Their struggle—his with his own demons and her with her newly found life—makes the film have an effect that lingers on for hours. With this film, a star director was born in 2018!