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Sunday, July 13, 2014

5 reasons why I still have hangover with BEGIN AGAIN!


The movie BEGIN AGAIN is a big surprise for me.

The latest film from writer-director John Carney (ONCE), BEGIN AGAIN tells the story of two lost souls who meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta (Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own.

Disgraced record-label exec, Dan Mulligan (played by Mark Ruffalo) is facing a failing marriage, a career he can’t keep up with, and a daughter he can’t connect to. But at his most desperate moment, he hears a powerful song by Gretta, an unknown musician on the brink of giving up her musical dreams after unexpected heartbreak and frustration. An unlikely pair who are brought together by equal parts inspiration and desperation, the film follows them as their musical partnership develops into a deep friendship, and their lives take unexpected turns..”

I didn't expect that I will be blown away in a big way by this movie.  And I heard other people too are still in hangover with the film -- and its music!  Why?   I could only think of 5 reasons:

1. It's a LIFE MOVIE.

As a film buff who eventually became a movie blogger for several years now, I always expose my self to all kinds of cinema - good and bad, major production and indie, local and foreign.  One of my comms trainees asked me, what is a good film for me.  I said it depends on the film genre.  A serious film should open my mind, a comedy film should make me laugh, a slasher film should frighten me like when I ride a horror train, a romantic movie should make me fall in love.  But if there's one genre that encompasses all, I will call it a life movie.  And this is what I saw in  BEGIN AGAIN.

They say it's feel good movie, some say it's a musical, then others call it a romcom.  But for me, it's a life movie and I would define it is a film that inspires, teaches, entertains and makes you see life in a different way  after seeing the film.  It makes you want to live life more.  Aside from BEGIN AGAIN, I think Forrest Gump, Life of Pi and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as life movies as well.

2. It breaks traditional story telling.

Plot is simple. Although it's quite not new (singers who strive, struggle and succeed), the take-off or execution breaks tradition and hence earns recognition from film aficionados.

BEGIN AGAIN is not cheesy,  not melodramatic, not a cliche.  It's real, it breaks hearts but repairs it  in a way you would not expect, in a way that would make you love and live life, and BEGIN AGAIN.  From the characters' falling in love to breaking up, from being destroyed to picking up themselves -- they just captured the audience's senses.  Even the subplots were told uniquely - between Dan's daughter and Gretta, between Dan and Gretta, between Dan and his wife, between Gretta and Adam, between Dan and his employer/s.  If this is another film, we would have been offered a poorer resolution like in the usual romcom films - cheesy, melodramatic, cliche.

3. It has a marvelous soundtrack!

Of course, music is astonishing.  In fact, my fellow movie bloggers Lou and Earth and I feel like we're also watching a concert while journeying with the film.  Lost Stars definitely melted and moved us, both Adam's and Keira's versions.  Like a Fool is funny yet heart pounding.  The rest  like Tell Me If You Wanna Go and No One Else Like You are simply inspiring.

4. It's cinematic.

There are several scenes too that maximized the power of cinematography and art direction.  The concert scene for example helped tell the story by capturing how the audience fell in love with the song, how Dave felt sorry and relieved, and how Gretta felt fulfilled and liberated.

5. It has a powerful cast!

And of course that won't work without the breakthrough performances of Adam Levine (of course, many people watched because of him), Keira Knightley (who is a revelation - a very charismatic song interpreter too) and of course Mark Ruffalo (who is just brilliant!)

Here's BEGIN AGAIN's official movie trailer

I can't remember the last I time I really melted in a movie and its soundtrack but this one definitely made a mark for me! This is one inspiring movie. 'Love the story, screenplay, scoring, cinematography, art direction and cast! Thank you Solar Entertainment, SM Cinema and ePLUS for screening this film. Super enjoyed it with my pressies, bloggies and workies!

After a series of theater heartaches for movie fans, BEGIN AGAIN will make us fall in love in cinema once again :). From 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving it a 9 with powerful intro and extro sounds from the band! :)

The movie is now showing in theaters.  Catch it and be part of the BEGIN AGAIN fever.  Up to now, I still have a hangover and might watch it again! :)

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