In the past two parts of this review, we tackled on the movie in itself and the whirlwind romance of Jack and Ally. Now, we move on to how the characters of Ally and Jack are as individuals and how the movie portrays them. These protagonists are among the richest that we have in the four movies. The way the story unravels itself would introduce us to the many facets of each character.
We begin with the problematic veteran star Jackson Maine. Or, Jack, as he would like it. Jack follows the general skeleton of his predecessors. His career is on the brink of failing, he drowns himself in alcohol while dealing with everything else that goes on in his life. What makes Jack unique from his other counterparts though is that his backstory is extensive. He makes up of a troubled, sympathetic character with believable flaws.
Weaved into his personality is a debilitating coping mechanism: alcohol. Jack uses that to escape his slow descend for stardom, and for his Tinnitus – a condition wherein a person would hear continuous ringing in their ears. It is a no-brainer that a musician’s ears are one of the most important faculties that they possess. Yet, Jack is stubborn to remedy the problem and instead choose to drink his problems away.
We are hinted of Jack’s hearing disability with the small ringing that can be heard in the trailer and at the beginning of the movie. At first, I thought there was just something wrong with the audio of the movie. But, we are soon offered an explanation when we see Jack having his check up with his doctor. This is where we are given an explanation as to why we have that constant ringing in our ears as the movie progresses.
I actually really like how there are delicate nuances to his character. We watch his character evolve right in front of our eyes, however. If right at the beginning he is brash and acts on impulse, we watch Jack transform into someone who acknowledges his problems and try to do something about it. Jack enrolls himself to therapy. He tries to be clean and makes it up to his wife by being there for her in her continuous meteoric rise. And even though things went very unsightly for him, we still catch ourselves being his and Ally’s cheerleaders.
If there’s one word that best describes Ally, it’s passion. It’s obvious that this is what drives her throughout the whole movie. We see those instances while she was performing in that dingy drag bar. Or how she belted what would subsequently become “Shallow” while in the parking lot. She isn’t afraid to lay her heart out when she wants something. And she will chase after the things that she would set her mind to.
However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t afraid. The insecurity in her personality is subtle because it is often overshadowed by the chain of events that follow her decisions. She wasn’t confident of her abilities when Jack first called her on stage. She wasn’t able to fully fight for altering her look when her manager wanted to dye her hair blonde because she also wanted to be a marketable artist. The scene where she was sitting in the tub was such a telling scene to how much she is overwhelmed on the inside, with how fast she was rising to fame.
Rise from the Ashes
But of course, this is Ally Maine we’re talking about. She still faces these problems with the same kind of vigor. Her side of the story is building a new version of herself, someone more confident, more refined. It is like she is slowly growing into the character that we know she would be if only she would let her. She would find herself, the love of her life, and the career that she always wanted.
How her character was rounded off was actually really smart, too. We see her world crash down when Jack died. She allowed herself to be broken, but that was not something that would stop her from continuing her career. If at first Ally was willing to drop everything for Jack, doing so after he had died would seem to cheapen his death, somewhat. Additionally, Ally was strong enough to detach herself from the love and passion that she feels towards her husband, and also to continue her career in his honor and memory.
We’re down to the last part of the review! Stay tuned for the last installment!