Sunday, March 10, 2019

Writing about Addiction and Suicide: A Star Is Born

I saw the latest remake of A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I must say, it was a beautiful platform for Lady Gaga, who, in my humble opinion, possesses the musical voice of a generation. But I found the story a little lazy, especially when it came to dealing with addiction and suicide.

It showed the Jackson character as weak and easily manipulated into killing himself because Ally's producer basically told him to do it. The whole premise of it didn't make sense to me. Jackson was the sole impetus for Ally's career. He had faith in her voice and brought her out on stage. His overwhelming almost instantaneous jealousy was confusing, considering how much they loved each other and his role in making her a star. I also felt his  catastrophic plummet into the hell of addiction was swift and lacking in real build. And his solution of suicide sends a dangerous message that if you are addicted, there is only one way out.

I loved Gaga in this movie, and for that, it was worth producing. But this being the movie's fourth incarnation, I felt it deserved a lot more than it gave in way of script and execution. Perhaps if Cooper wasn't so entrenched as writer/director/star, he would have had a better perspective of the build of the movie and its ultimate outcome.

My final word on this: When creating art, we have a responsibility to our audience. To throw around addiction and suicide in what I felt was a rather careless fashion is irresponsible, both to those who suffer with addiction and depression and to the quality of the art of the film itself.

Any thoughts?