“Gaga: Five Foot Two” is the somewhat perplexingly titled documentary about who the woman behind the pop star known as Lady Gaga is. This documentary, streaming on Netflix as of Sept. 22, 2017, gives the audience the experience of following one of the world’s biggest pop stars through her day-to-day life. On this journey, the film’s emotions are high and the filmmaking is spot on, making for a satisfying film overall.
As you would expect, the main interest in the film is Lady Gaga. From the first few minutes she makes it her mission to allow the audience to have utmost intimacy with her as she goes through an incredibly emotional year in her life. The film covers the release of Gaga’s fifth album Joanne and beyond that, all the way up to her Super Bowl LI performance. The audience will also catch unfiltered glimpses of her time as an actress on “American Horror Story” and of her personal life. From the studio to her grandma’s kitchen, there is hardly a moment where Gaga isn’t bearing her soul to the audience. It is a riveting experience, mostly because of Gaga’s personal choices and in part thanks to the technique of the film maker.
While the filmmaking isn’t as great as Gaga’s emotional journey, it is never a distraction except to the viewer who is jaded or easily bored. It is worth mentioning, though, that for the most part the aesthetic that the filmmakers go for is that of simply pointing a camera at Gaga and seeing what happens. It’s a bit lazy in terms of filming with purpose or a vision, but it gets the subject of the film across, that being the story of the star.
On a brighter note, where the film lacks in creativity in cinematography, it makes up for in some dazzling sequences of editing. The editor uses assets from social media and other non-traditional film sources to get the audience caught up in the anxiety of witnessing how people react to Gaga’s album after she has put so much of her heart into it. The editor also perfectly matches Gaga’s voice overs with specific clips to emphasize the meaning of what she is saying. For instance, when Gaga speaks of her drowning loneliness, the audience sees her trying to break out of a pool of water in slow motion. Gripping moments like this make the audience forget the more mundane parts, leaving them with a film worthy of their time.
In terms of recommendation, I would highly recommend the documentary to fans of Lady Gaga, which might be a bit redundant as they have more than likely seen it already. Still, I would also recommend “Gaga: Five Foot Two” to anyone interested in the life of a musician, pop star and devoted family person, as this is one of the best vignettes of such a life out their.