Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, has had quite the interesting career to say the least. When she was headlining the Born This Way Ball, she broke her hip in the middle of the tour and was forced to cancel the rest of the dates and refund over 25 million dollars in ticket sales. When she felt like she lacked control over her own artistry and message as a pop icon, she made moves in the industry that would shock and baffle many, including wearing meat dresses and arriving to a red-carpet event in an egg. Then in 2013, she released her most self-indulgent album Artpop. The album flopped, and it flopped hard. Tired of all the pop noise and sharp criticism, she created a jazz album with Tony Bennett. She then acted on the set of American Horror Story and released a country- pop album that featured songs like the ballad “Million Reasons” and the break-up number “Perfect Illusion.” In Gaga: Five Foot Two, we encounter Lady Gaga as a culmination of these past experiences in the industry. We see her not as the performer, but as the artist and human being behind the madness.
Gaga expresses the experience she has gained from her hectic career and her recent choice to present herself more authentically in the film and in her performances.
“I can see now. I don’t need to have a million wigs on and all that to make a statement. I know that we wanna elevate everything. I’m trying to elevate everything, but I can’t elevate it to a point where I become Lady Gaga again,” Gaga said.
Chris Moukarbel, the filmmaker and creative behind Lady Gaga’s new documentary, presents Gaga in her rawest form yet. She is unraveled and in a lot of pain. She is depicted losing a loved one to cancer, breaking up with longtime boyfriend Taylor Kinney and suffering from fibromyalgia amongst many other events that the scope of her life and career involve. In this pain, Gaga finds herself isolated. Gaga expressed it best in the documentary.
“I am alone every night, and all these people will leave. Right, and I’ll be alone. I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day to total silence… I can’t help but realize that when I sold 10 million records, I lost Matt [Williams]; I sold 30 million, I lose Luc [Carl]; I get the movie [“A Star Is Born”], I lose Taylor [Kinney]. It’s like a turnover.” Gaga said.
Overall, the documentary does a wonderful job exposing us to the human being behind all the wigs and makeup. Hailee Buras, a University of Southern Mississippi sophomore psychology major, expressed how the documentary changed her view on Gaga.
“I had limited knowledge about Lady Gaga before watching the film, and this documentary really opened my eyes. She was so exposed. My heart was breaking for her.” Buras said.
Lady Gaga didn’t shy away from showing the worst parts of herself either. Sophomore elementary education major Kristen Holmes was shocked by how much the pop star revealed.
“There were a lot of cringe-worthy moments. She was topless. She was unprofessional. She was unruly at times, but she was not fake. She didn’t put on a show.” Holmes said.
Gaga was raw and unapologetic. Though I’ve fallen in love with the more theatrical Gaga, it breaks my heart that she is hanging up the meat dress. However, I’m happy that she is being her authentic self. I would rather see an artist speaking their truth than an artist doing everything for shock value alone. This documentary effectively introduces Lady Gaga as a new artist who just wants to be herself. We all finally get to meet the talented and soul bearing Stefani Germanotta.