John Carney’s Begin Again (2014) Movie Review
Oh Man. Oh Man. Once again John Carney wins for me.
There are literally movies that have romance as their main theme. Indeed a large percentage of foreign films output seems to be romantic in hope rather than expectation. The main problem with these kind of films is the lack of belief in relationships. This is not the problem in Begin Again. Indeed you could compare it Bollywood musical entertainers Rock On & Aashiqui 2. The two leads meet like people we meet, greet, treat; we sense that we could be either of them. This is very difficult thing to pull off.
The explanation for this kind of success for Begin Again is the raw – emotional honesty in the film. Not once theres a feeling of being manipulated. Consider the basic story which is simplicity itself.
Begin Again follows the making of an album after a chance encounter between a down on his luck music producer (Mark Ruffalo) and young singer song writer (Keira Knightley), who has recently split from her longtime musician boyfriend, who’s dealing with newfound fame, Dave (Adam Levine).
I’m not big fan of romantic films. Mostly because, I get see a loads of Tollywood romance, the great ones are few and far between and what you are left with is a big pile of MEH. Thankfully John Carney didn’t disappoint me, tried and succeeded on making a heartfelt yet subtle little film about two people meeting because of their love of music and slowly finding true love of their lives. The movie goes into more than that pernicious that it forces the viewer to decide what feelings each other have. Its lot likes a real life. The best thing about Begin Again is the ending. It doesn’t go where every big budget, over produced Hollywood romantic comedy would go. And for that, I was very grateful.
The most fascinating aspect of this film is the fact that it happens to be a romantic musical entertainer. In fact most of the story is moved on through placement of the beautiful songs and their lyrical entailing. Both the leads are out of relationships and in some ways they are each others muses in so far as their meeting spurs them to finally do things to change their lives. All the six songs which Kiera Knightly sung are simply unbelievable. “Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home”, “Like A Fool” and “Lost Stars (Male Version)” songs are totally hummable.
Acting wise the both the leads are fantastic. Kiera Knightly is at her best, surprisingly as a soulful singer. Mark Ruffalo wins you over with solid charm and unforced humor. There are some fine supporting roles from Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def and James Corden. The movie comes in at a brisk hour and half so it doesn’t out stay. Over all, Begin Again is not great or memorable but its a lovely musical entertainer for all ages.
Survi Review: 3/5 (0.25 more for the songs)