Lady Gaga attends a news conference during the Toronto International Film Festival, at Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 8, 2017. (Hubert Boesl/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)

‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’ Netflix documentary reveals Lady Gaga’s struggles, successes

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Lady Gaga’s new documentary reveals the private moments of a pop star the public doesn’t usually get to see.

By Natalie Betz

natalie-betz@uiowa.edu

Lady Gaga’s life is glamorous, but the pop star also faces problems that are not always visible to the public. While she will never be just an ordinary woman, Lady Gaga’s new documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, was released on Netflix Sept. 22 and reveals both her struggles and successes.

Stefani Germanotta, commonly known by her stage name, Lady Gaga, reveals her personal life to her fans. The documentary follows her preparing to release her newest album, Joanne, dealing with heartbreak from her ex-fiancé, Taylor Kinney, dealing with her hip trauma from 2012, and preparing for her Super Bowl halftime performance.

In Gaga: Five Foot Two, the audience discovers that “Joanne” was her father’s sister who died when she was 19 from lupus, a disease involving inflamed skin. There is a scene where Gaga shows her grandma the title track of her new album, “Joanne,” and her grandma says, “That’s a beautiful piece.”

One common theme throughout the documentary is the concept of family, and how she makes time for her family, despite her busy schedule. The audience can grasp how close Gaga is with her family from just the scene with her grandma.

Of course, the documentary also showcases Gaga on bad days. During rehearsal for the Super Bowl, she gets upset and starts demanding that her jacket lining be fixed immediately.

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I do not think that her diva moment portrays her as a bad person, but human. It would be unrealistic for the documentary to walk around her as a pop star, because at the end of the day, she is human, but she is also an extremely wealthy and popular celebrity.

Although, Gaga is just a human. She faces heartbreak, gets angry, suffers from panic attacks, and gets lonely.

Her anger isn’t always directed towards other. When she worked on music video for “Perfect Illusion,” she only gets upset with herself because she wants to keep going and push herself, but her hip hurts too badly.

In 2012, Gaga broke her hip during her Born This Way tour, and to this day, she still faces severe pain. The viewer can feel her pain, watching her cry and suffer so much.

One item that is repeatedly discussed is the Gaga and Madonna feud. Often, the two have been known to complain about the other through media outlets, as opposed to talking face-to-face. Gaga complains that Madonna disses her in interviews, instead of telling her to her face, yet she did the same thing by complaining about Madonna through her documentary.

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Although, in Gaga’s defense, she did not want these complaints to be included in the final cut, but they were kept anyway. I’m glad the scene was included; I thought it was funny, but also, the hypocrisy makes her more real, instead of this perfect icon that many pop singers can be made out to be.

Several performances were also scattered throughout the film. My personal favorite was when she sings an acoustic piano version of “Bad Romance” at her friend Tony Bennett’s birthday party.

Is the documentary authentic? I would say for the most part yes, but I’m sure there are points where it is hard to completely ignore the camera continually following her around. Although, with all of the paparazzi she has had follow her around for several years, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was able to ignore it.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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