Lady Gaga’s new documentary, “Five-foot-Two” follows the artist in an almost year-long journey, leading up to the release of her most recent album, “Joanne,” as well as her 2017 halftime performance.
Gaga seemed to focus this film on explaining her change of style, which is notably subdued compared to the starlet’s earlier years. The film opens with a ten-minute candid curb-side interview, where Gaga explains that some of her more bizarre fashion choices were her way of feeling in control, while acting out the wishes of the male-dominated industry. Gaga also takes this time to take a swing as the business, saying how young women are all-too-often manipulated by ultra-powerful male producers.
With a new outlook on life, on men, and a newly found confidence in herself, Gaga changed her style as a means to creating music that reflected these things contrasted with the feelings of ownership and powerlessness she felt in the industry.
“I want to become a woman,” Gaga says.
She explains that when she entered the music business in her early 20s, she was somewhat denied the opportunity to really grow up and mature into a woman, which is what she is hoping to do by dropping the theatrics that jumpstarted her career nearly a decade ago.
Director Chris Moukarbel and his team portray Gaga before and after her mental and spiritual transformation and newfound feelings of strength; however, they do not substantially detail how she overcome her struggles. As a result, the viewer is left to wonder how her admirable transformation occurred.
The filmmakers do, however, offer an inside look at a more personal side of Gaga, one that she made public when she needed to postpone some of her tour dates due to medical issues. After experiencing a fracture in her hip almost three years ago, it was discovered that the singer had been living with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that can be excruciating and physically debilitating. Shortly before the onset of her “Joanne” tour, Gaga‘s pain was hindering her ability to perform. One scene depicts a suffering Gaga, lying on a bed covered in ice packs with tears streaming down her face. The filmmakers very accurately portray this one aspect of Gaga’s life. Her pain is valid and profound. We are meant to feel her pain, and we do.
Gaga pays a visit to her grandmother in a touching scene where they discuss the life of her Aunt Joanne, an artist who lost her life to Lupus at the age of 19. This scene, along with a few other meaningful moments through the film, provides personal depth and substance to what is overall a rather career-focused film.
Rating: TV-MA (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 17)