I'll be honest here. Beyond Lady Gaga's top hits I didn't really any strong feelings about her. Ok, so some of her outfits were a bit crazy – remember the meat dress?!? But the pop tunes were catchy and easy to sing along to so what wasn't to like? When Lady Gaga Five Foot Two was released by Netflix I genuinely thought it would be a slick glossy production. The kind that glorifies the life of a pop star. Created in time for the release of a new album, this was just going to be a bit of fluff – right? Oh how wrong I was.
This documentary is anything but glossy. It really is a stripped back, behind-the-scenes look at her life and it makes for incredible tv. Gone is the make-up, the fancy outfits, the plastered smiles. What we see is an artist, at the peak of her career, experiencing the highs, but mostly the lows of fame. The Lady Gaga of the red carpets is only one small facet of this extraordinary woman's life. The documentary was created on the run-up to the creation and release of her latest album, Joanne, and her impending Super Bowl half time show.
Through sheer grit and determination she battles physical and emotional exhaustion which at times is hard to watch. One specific part shows her sitting on a doctor's table getting injections to stem the intense and unbearable back pain she is suffering through while simultaneously getting her make-up done for a show she has to go straight out and perform at. Her dedication to her art is unwavering.
Over one hour and forty minutes her life is laid bare. Pain, tiredness, loneliness and grief are the order of the day in this insightful piece of film making. There are of course some upsides, and she clearly loves what she does but boy oh boy, while the highs are most certainly high the lows are so low that I'm not sure anybody would swap lives with her after watching this.
This is such a good documentary on Netflix. I came away with a new found sense of respect and admiration for Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga) and a greater understanding of how much a person must sacrifice to get to the top of their profession. Then again I have also watched Kurt Cobain Montage Of Heck (review here) and that didn't exactly paint a blissful pic of fame either!