For me, if I leave the cinema finding my self just wanting to write about the film and find that all my thoughts about the film are just gushing out, demanding to be documented, I think the films done a good job. Even if that films... not the best, shall we say (*cough* suicide squad *cough) if cinema is engaging the audience then that seems like a good thing to me.
As the credits rolled up for La La Land, 1. I instantly wanted to watch it again and 2. I wanted to write about it. So yeah, here that is.
Now this film has got a whole lotta hype, and does it live it up to that hype? In my opinion, yes it does. I think overall, it is this marvellous blend of purely beautiful cinematography, an amazing soundtrack (at at it again Pasek and Paul, you go) and just the right amount of mixing the return to classical cinema with the new. I really do think this film is a respectful homage to cinema within its-own right.
However I must admit, this wasn't a film that grabbed me straight away. The opening number, whilst it was a catchy song, just fell a little flat for me and didn't fully engage me. Looking back I even feel like it's not even apart of the same film. It just didn't have that intimacy, that kind of unusual blend of the fantastical and realism that grounds La La Land and really gives it its heart.
However as a musical theatre kid and buff, I have to admit I was ready to be won over. Whilst I'm a fan of musicals what I love about this film is that, it's a musical... but not really. I had that same kind of feeling I did when watching Once. It's a film about music, about jazz and about making it in Hollywood, so it doesn't feel all that far fetched as other musicals perhaps can be seen as. The music fits in naturally.
Now as for the cinematography,this film is just absolutely visually stunning.I don't think I've ever cried at how beautiful cinematography is before, but I gotta admit I think I might of done here (definitely did). I dunno whether I was particularly emotional that day or something but when Gosling walks down that pier to towards that purple tinged sunset, I was like well damn, that is just stunning. As was the moment where Emma as goes flying into the stars. This is something we don't really see in cinema any more, and for that it deserves all the credit it is deservedly getting.
Now I know the narrative has been where La La Land has been getting it's stick. Of course, audience viewing is subjective and everyone experiences film in different ways, in their own way. I've heard that people think it's just abit 'meh', somewhat ordinary, the film perhaps lending more time in perfecting the soundtrack and visuals, and I can see where they're coming from. The narrative alone is maybe somewhat underwhelming, but altogether I think the narrative aids in giving the film this raw, truthfulness, that meets its pinnacle moment, and standout moment for me, when Sebastian and Mia share that simple glance that is breathtakingly heartbreaking and feels so real.
The films not perfect, but neither is life. That's kind of the beauty of it for me. It stumbles a bit, jumping from this to that, but the heart remains; you can see and feel the passion that has gone into it. And that last moment, it's all redeemed in the very simple but pure gesture of that heartbreaking look. Just brilliant. Again, it grounds La La Lad in this notion of wonderful realism, which was something I didn't anticipate the film would have but is what makes it stand out.
Thank-you La La Land for making me excited about new film again. I predict in years to come, this will be one of the greats.
I'm exited to see what Damien Chazelle gifts us with next, because if Whiplash and La La Land are anything to go on, I'm all in.