The new Netflix documentary, “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” directed by Chris Moukarbel (Banksy Does New York), allows the viewer to get to know who the woman behind the pseudonym “Lady Gaga” really is. It’s a beautiful and emotional documentary that shows how she became a star. After a five-year break from the limelight, “she finally found herself” and “Gaga; Five Foot Two” is all about the self-discovery process.
Some would say Lady Gaga is the most controversial artist since Madonna. With her loud outfits, chameleon-like looks and artsy videos, they may have a point. But as proven with her most recent album “Joanne,” Lady Gaga is more than just a diva. She’s Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, a New York City girl with Italian roots, who has anxieties, doubt, and issues.
Documentaries about celebrities, especially the ones who disappeared for a while, often give the feeling of a staged and some sort of reality show concept a là “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” But not so with Gaga. It doesn’t give the impression Germanotta is in need of money or publicity. Someone who has more than 20 million followers on social media, must still be in demand, right? She often shows her appreciation for her fans when she gets close with them to take pictures or surprises them with tickets to her show, but she never seems to be bothered by her fan base- shown in a few scenes.
“Gaga; Five Foot Two” is a stirring whiplash that showcases the struggles of the comeback from an artist that was made into something she wasn’t, not just by her record label, but also by searching for her true self. Besides the fancy things, the documentary also shows that fame always comes with a price to pay; since the show must go on. No matter if it means to have a broken hip or to be sleep deprived. But it also reflects on the vulnerability that comes with being a pop star. The loneliness, failed relationships and depression all comes shining through.
The opening scene shows a morning in the life of Germanotta in her house in Los Angeles, somewhere far away from the Hollywood glam. Gaga might seem as though she’s an extrovert on stage and in the limelight but in private she’s just an ordinary girl from New York, humble, funny and humane. Even when she’s with her team of dancers, choreographers, stylists, and producers; there’s no sign of superiority.
Although “Gaga; Five Foot Two” was shot in a more monotone setting, it gives the viewer the feeling of being there with Germanotta. As if she was a friend, you have known for a long time. A friend that finally has returned from her journey and who’s afraid to show the world her true colors and this is what the documentary is about. The raw and real Gaga. The Gaga who looks like she went to “Beacon’s Closet” instead of “Bergdorf Goodman.” The Gaga that is not afraid to show her dark roots of her bleached platinum hair, and her bare skin. Gaga has put a lot of heart into her album “Joanne” which she named after her deceased aunt of the same name. She even made sure her album sells in stores when she stopped by a local Walmart.
It’s a deep and inspirational documentary, at times funny that represents a more humane side of a high demand pop star, whose name got inspired by the Queen’s song “Radio Gaga.”