…and yet another thing to welcome to the blog… movie discussions. This long-term blog series will share my thoughts on some of the movies I come by, starting with La La Land, which I have recently watched a lot and wanted to share my opinion on with you. Please note that from a certain point on, this blog will contain spoilers (which I will surely point out again when I get there) and you should not continue reading if you haven’t yet watched the film.
La La Land is a movie with a very new and special concept, in my opinion and can therefore not really be compared to other films hitting the theaters these days. Looking at it from a greater distance though, you are likely to enjoy this if you grew up watching Mamma Mia (like me) or, looking from an even greater distance, High School Musical, though as I said already, it’s not really comparable, but it is definitely much more like a musical, rather than a movie. So the first thing you should pull into consideration is if you think or know that this could be your cup of tea. If you can answer that with a yes, you are a step closer to a new favorite film of yours.
That brings us right to the music, the soundtrack of the film, which is one of the best I have listened to in a long time. As one of the topics that is dealt with is Jazz the score has some quite jazzy tunes, which I found myself falling in love with very quickly, as I enjoy almost anything vintage and find myself often dancing to older music, rather than what is in the charts these days. Beneath the incredible songs the sounds are very well made as well. Watching the film you will be able to realize that right in the beginning, as the camera is rolling by some cars waiting in line and the people in them listening to different kinds of music, so that it grows louder approaching them and quiter while rolling away.
Which brings us right to the camera work. The camera work is very stage like, if I can put it like that. We have spot ons and offs, just like on stage. But since the film is very much like a musical, this is more than just fitting. In case, I even think, that this was supposed to underline Mia’s role in the film. Since she is an (aspiring) actress, the movie, which she is a big part of, adopts that from her, just like it does with the Jazz music, which is Seb’s speciality as a(n) (aspiring) musician.
To get right to the actors and their acting. I found myself drawn to Ryan Gosling playing Sebastian a lot faster than Emma Stone as Mia. Mostly I think that this is, because it felt like Emma was putting a little too much effort in being Mia. To me it seemed like she was acting a little too much, being a bit too loud or quite, a little too embarrassed, a little too-much-everything. On another side I think, that this is less Emma’s doing and more the directors and I partly do understand, that this might just be part of Mia’s special character. Anyways, I enjoyed Ryan’s acting just a little bit more, but that is probably just because I could slightly relate to Seb more than I could to Mia.
I know that all this does not seem to have a proper concept to you, but it is now time to get to the story of the film. Seeing the trailer a couple of times before I watched the film, I expected a lot more story to this than there was at first sight. When I first watched it, I actually found myself almost unable to find a real one, with a beginning and an end and that whole part in the middle, but with each time I rewatch it, there seems to be more to the story it tells. It is obvious that this is a story about a young woman and a young man, with a dream, which they are struggling to reach. The movie starts with their ways crossing accidentally several times until they begin to actually sense the others presence and things go differently than expected…
(attention. please do not keep reading if you do not want to be spoilt, because in the following I will discuss further events and the ending of the film. thank you.)
Mia and Seb spend some very happy months together, pushing each other to conquer their dreams, until Seb accepts a job offer he thinks Mia wants him to take seriously and things go down. While Seb is starting to adjust to his new job, that is in case not his dream, Mia works to live hers. Both fail and leave each other broken and done with what they once wanted. Until one day Seb again pushed Mia to go on, to live her dream, and has success. It is only then that their ways truly part. What I feel is kind of an epilogue picks up quite a few years later, with Mia having a husband that is not Seb and a child and being a successful actress and Seb finally having made his dream of an own Jazz Club come true, which Mia discovers accidentally with her husband one night. When Sebastian spots her in the crowd, he starts playing their tune and Mia finds her self thinking of an alternate ending for both of them together, imagining what it would have been like if everything would have turned out perfectly for them.
Watching the ending for the first time I was very confused and really disappointed, to be honest. I never imagined them both not ending up with one another, but having watched it a few more times, I think this ending is so much more meaningful than the other one would have been. It shows, that unlike in some other movies, life is not perfect and does not always turn out as wanted and that sometimes, no most times actually, you have to give up things, let go of things you love to reach what you dream of. It also shows, that you cannot reach your dreams all alone. That all on your own, you often loose faith. You often give up, without properly trying. La La Land shows that it is important to keep dreaming and to support other people and their dreams, just like your own. It highlights that it takes a lot f courage to believe and to finally achieve the things you dream of, but that with a little help, it is possible.