Released in September on Netflix, the documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two” has drummed up its fair share of hype. The documentary follows pop singer Lady Gaga throughout the production of her newest album, “Joanne,” and her marathon on a Superbowl half-time performance.
Gaga mentions multiple times in the documentary that she considers, as many celebrities do, a lifetime achievement.
While most people, myself included, picture Gaga as the singer who has astounded audiences for years with outrageous wigs, performances and jaw-dropping vocals, the Lady Gaga I pictured in my head was nothing like the woman I saw through filmmaker Chris Moukarbel’s lens. This is a woman who had let go of her need to put on a dramatic show and embraced a time of being fully herself and all that comes with it. Even hearing friends and family call her by her non-stage name, Stephani, was a shake to the system of stardom.
Through the documentary, viewers get an up-close and personal look into Gaga’s life, witnessing heartbreak and pain and candor in ways that rejects every bit of her most famous personas.
Gaga talks of stardom in a way that sometimes may seem like too much information. Her outright critiques of the way the business works and the loneliness she feels seeps in the viewer through Gaga’s candor.
“The methodology behind what I’ve done is when they wanted me to be sexy or they wanted me to be pop I always … put some absurd spin on it that made me feel like I was in control,” Gaga said.
She cited an example to her live performance of hit song “Paprazzi” at the 2009 MTV Music Awards that included not only some insane vocals, but it was a dramatic show that used fake blood.
In the documentary, Gaga also gives a deeper look into the extent of her battle with chronic pain. Not even five minutes into the documentary, Gaga is shown laying on a table in her home with a physical therapist.
“If I get depressed, by body can spasm, like, into a full body spasm, and it all kind of originate from this trauma in my hip from this injury years ago,” Gaga explains to the camera.
This is not the last time she reveals the extent of her pain. The topic is revisited multiple times, including a particularly bad flare of pain within the making of the documentary.
Other means of her life are introduced, including Gaga’s inspiration, feminism in the music-making industry, use of marijuana, family dynamics, relationships built within the studio and much more.
The movie shows another side to the “Born This Way” singer never seen before, despite her relative openness with her fans and with the media. It’s a must watch-for anyone who can relate to the need to create something honest and the passion it takes to create art and be themselves.