I have a thing for documentaries, especially those that seek to uncover the truth and the depth of something or someone that no one has ever seen before. Unfortunately, a lot of documentaries made these days just try to achieve the artistic stamp of approval with no purpose other than to leave us with short-term memory and a new soundtrack for our “Bedtime” playlist.
This new Netflix documentary about the pop icon is everything but fake or boring, however. We think we know who Lady Gaga is, but until you see Gaga: Five Foot Two you will be just as in the dark and lost as everyone else who hasn’t seen it.
We follow Gaga around in her daily life as she overcomes physical and emotional stress, meanwhile she’s prepping for the Super Bowl halftime show. Rather than a mundane look at her daily life of being transported from one limo to another, brushing fans to the side, Five Foot Two is more like a roller-coaster of emotions, forcing us to view her on our level as a real person and not just a performer with a lot of fame. There’s also variety of music used in the film, without just doing all Gaga songs unless it’s a clip from a live performance, which is refreshing and done well.
Gaga bares it all (literally) and reveals to the viewers why she decided to go au-naturel for her latest album, “Joanne.” The narrative is perfect – not overbearing, telling us what we already know (“The star is exhausted” in that over-done English accent), but actually pleasant and just enough to aid the movie along instead of reading the entire script to us. While seeing Gaga at her worst and then at her best and then at her worst again can be regarded as “just too much” it is actually compelling and sensuous. She’s real. I had ongoing chills the entire time.
Director Chris Moukarbel accomplishes one of the hardest of tasks of modern day cinema: portraying someone of such grandeur as Gaga as a relatable young woman who was just plucked straight from the “normal pile” and thrust into the Hollywood front lines.
You can find Alyson on Twitter @alyjour when she’s not co-hosting the Squibardry podcast!