Review: Netflix Original “Gaga: Five Foot Two”

Lady Gaga at "Gaga: Five Foot Two" premiere at Toronto Film Festival 2017. Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Lee Chu.

Put the meat dress away and hide those eccentric wigs. Lady Gaga is embracing her true inner persona as “Stefani” in “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” the new Netflix documentary. 

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga) said her fans haven’t seen much of this side of her before: “I never felt comfortable enough to sing or wear my hair back,” she said.

This down to earth diva goes from extreme and tiresome rehearsals to piano ballads where she belts exuberant high notes. You see Gaga in a professional environment working with Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine on their track “Hey Girl” to painful body aches that overtake her day at her most vulnerable. 

Cameras follow her intensely in the hard times this past year along with her lifetime achievements blossoming before her own eyes. The inside and everyday look in this feature length documentary range from chronic hip pains to breakups to some of Gaga’s most striking moments, like the release of her new album Joanne and the Super Bowl halftime show.

There are brief flashbacks of the “old” Gaga with wigs and over the top outfits throughout the documentary, but Stefani strips down to a raw look. She’s still glamourous but her exterior appearance is more her own self at this moment in her life. “I want to grow up,” she said. On her Joanne album promotion from city to city, she wears a simple white crop top, black shorts, black boots and a big pink hat. 

Loneliness is woven throughout her story. She has to deal with the breakup of her fiance, Taylor Kinney, which inspires some of the songs on Joanne. She emphasizes that she had to go to a dark place to allow for these emotions to shine through into her lyrics. Anxiety, stress, drinking and drugs were tough challenges that Gaga had to overcome. Now the 31-year-old artist feels better than ever before. 

“All my insecurities are gone, I don’t feel insecure about who am I as a woman. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of what I have,” she said. 

The production of the documentary is all over the place, but that’s who Gaga is. The shots go from extreme scenes of rowdy dances at the Super Bowl and jump to quiet, intimate moments of Gaga at her home. You can see how hectic Gaga’s life is. 

By having an insider’s perspective on a pop star’s life, viewers can understand the wild moments the star has to go through, including the bombarding paparazzi.  After the Super Bowl halftime performance she thanks her Haus of Gaga friends and family for their endless support. 

Sexism and male power in the recording workplace have followed Gaga throughout her career and she is over it. 

“Those men have so much power they can have women in a way that no other man can, whenever they want, whatever they want,” Gaga said. Mark Ronson, her producer, is different because they treat each other on an equal level. 

Raw emotions shine bright through tough times with archives of family memories, photographs, letters and drawings of her aunt Joanne, who passed away at 19 years old. Gaga keeps her Aunt Joanne’s memory close to her heart—and marked in ink on her wrist.