• Kristina Cherep

The Trigger Warning I Wish I Had For ‘A Star Is Born’ Being Someone With A Mental Illness

Updated: Apr 18

Let me start off by saying this will obviously give away spoilers from the movie, so if you wish to not have it spoiled then stop reading UNLESS you need a trigger warning with regards to mental health. If you have ever battled with suicidal thoughts, depression, alcoholism, etc. then here is your trigger warning.

I thought the movie had phenomenal acting, music, and production. It was definitely a very engaging movie. I also think Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper work really well together. It’s definitely let me see different sides to both of them which was refreshing. HOWEVER I am having a really hard time with the message of the movie by the way it ended. I almost had to leave near the end of the movie because I started to feel triggered. However, I remember hearing great reviews and opinions about this movie so I figured it would start going a different way. Wellll, it didn’t. Hence the reason I’m writing this. I am fully aware that this was a remake of a remake and the lead male always dies. However, so I’ve read, the death was not like this in any of the previous movies.

I’m going to give a very brief summary of the movie in regards to Jack and his battles with his mental health. During the movie, Jack battles with alcoholism and drug addiction and ends up going to rehab. Awhile after he is told that he is ruining his wife’s career because of what happened to him (embarrassing her due to his alcoholism). After (I don’t remember how much time was between) this conversation he ends up dying by suicide. After his death, Jack’s brother is talking with Jack‘s wife and he tells her that it wasn’t her fault. WHICH IS SO TRUE! But then says that it was only Jack’s fault. I was then waiting for her to reply back by saying, no it wasn’t his fault. He died because of a disease. Butttt that didn’t happen which didn‘t sit well with me.

I’m going to make a list of the ways this is triggering for someone in case you don‘t understand. My husband didn’t understand me when I said “I wish there was a trigger warning.” So I had to explain what I’m going to list below. However, if suicide is triggering for you then please read with caution.

Jack being told he was embarassing and ruined his wife’s career because of the action he made that finally got him into rehab.

People are afraid to share and show their mental illness because they don’t want to be embarrassed by it. They don’t want to feel like an embarrassment or a failure. They don’t want to ruin or make a loved ones life difficult. It took me awhile to share my story because of the fear of embarrassment. I understand it’s a movie and the guy who said it was villainess, but it would’ve been nice to display that guy was wrong. BECAUSE HE WAS.

The vivid display of the suicide. It showed a belt that had a loop that could fit around his head.

I think this one speaks for itself. I’m not saying they shouldn’t show this, but again I just wish I had a trigger warning. This was the part where I wanted to leave, but decided to stay because I assumed I would’ve been given a warning if he really were to go through with it. (I know you should never assume because it makes a blank out of you and me.) This was triggering for me because before I was hospitalized and also on the wrong medication/dose, I experienced VERY scary suicidal thoughts. To the point where I started to think of ways. Seeing this brought back those feelings and I’m sure it triggered other people as well.

The scene where Jack’s brother said that Jack’s death was Jack’s fault.

This gave me way too many different kinds of emotions to handle. Sickened, furious, sad, confused, worried, etc.. The message that I got from this was that suicide is that persons fault. Therefore that person is the only one in control of it. What message is this sending to someone currently suffering from suicidal thoughts? That no one else, but themselves can help? That they have to deal with it? Jack died by suicide because of his disease just like someone may die by a heart attack because of a heart disease. Why aren’t these looked at in the same regard?

I know this is an unpopular opinion because everyone seems to LOVE this movie. I loved it up until the ending! However, I wrote this to not only vent, but to be that trigger warning for someone who may need it. I don’t care if this just helps out one person struggling... I wrote this for that one person. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, YOU ARE NOT ALONE & IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Reach out to a loved one, call the suicide hotline, go to the hospital, etc.. You may feel scared sharing these feelings with someone and that’s okay because I was too. However, it saved my life. Even if you don’t see a way for your life to ever improve, IT WILL. Believe me. This is rock bottom and the first step is to reach out for help.

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