Gaga: Five Foot Two is a documentary that looks at the life of Lady Gaga, an international pop sensation. It explores her recent successes such as the Super Bowl halftime show and her latest album Joanne, before going on to show the hardships she has suffered this year, including her breakup with fiancé Taylor Kinney and her struggle with fibromyalgia (a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body). The documentary also covers topics such as her mental health and her experience with drug addiction.
The opening of the film is a calm family scene in which Gaga tells the camera how all her insecurities are gone and she feels “better than ever” filling the audience with excitement and anticipation for what is about to come. Gaga’s vulnerability is then shown as she talks about her treatment in the music industry and how she was made to feel like she was not good enough, though producer Mark Ronson has helped her gain confidence.
The documentary then cuts to a studio session and the creation of her song Million Reasons, exploring how the song came from a broken place in her heart. After being thrown into an emotional rollercoaster for the first ten minutes, you do not know what to expect next. Gaga then discusses her feud with Madonna and how she always has and always will admire her, despite what her views are. She goes on to say that she feels hurt that bad things were said behind her back and not to her face. This makes you consider whether this was scripted to keep bad press away from Gaga, but we will never really know.
We are then treated to a look at the most meaningful song on the record, Joanne, which is about her aunt who died at nineteen after going to the hospital with Lupus. At the time, the doctors did not know much about Lupus and so they cut her hand off, resulting in a fatal infection. Gaga goes to visit her grandma to play her the song in a beautiful moment that caused a lot of tears. This was one of the best moments of the documentary, as it was the most personal despite so few words being shared.
The footage goes on to show what I believe is the rawest moment: Gaga, right before Tony Bennett’s birthday, in agony from her fibromyalgia. This proved very hard to watch as you could feel her pain through the screen and therefore can only imagine what she must have been going through. During this moment, however, she addressed that she was going to grow up and did not fear the aging process, which so many other celebrities dread, and cannot wait to be a parent, despite fearing how her body would react.
During a radio interview, Gaga begins to talk about the past five years of her life and her drug and alcohol abuse. She talks about her anxiety and the breakdown of her engagement, explaining how hard it is to get through such a tough time in the spotlight, with everyone watching. Gaga also discusses how she wants to change the bold aesthetic that started her career, saying, “I don’t need to have a million wigs on to make a statement”. This was a shock to some viewers who adored her eccentric style and her confidence, but she does address this, saying that she feels more confident in herself now.
Finally, we start to look at Gaga’s Super Bowl performance and how she wants to do the opposite to what people expect her to do. The lead up to the performance is stressful for Gaga who believes that, in her search for perfection, the show is falling apart. The documentary ends just before the performance itself, with Lady Gaga stating that she has worked her whole life for this moment, leaving the viewer inspired by the journey of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
Anyone who watches this documentary will understand that we do not always know what goes on in the lives of our favourite celebrities, and even though Gaga: Five Foot Two has given us a deep look into the life of Gaga, we will never know the full truth of what she is going through.
Original Illustration by Ashlea Phillips