Begin Again

2014-09-16 08:04
What's it about:

Gretta and her long-time boyfriend, Dave, 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. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan, a disgraced record label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City.

What we thought:

From the get go Begin Again is not your average music film. Directed by John Carney, the same guy who brought us the beautiful music film Once (if you haven’t seen it, do it, get it and watch it!), Begin Again is a film filled with magical moments.

When Dan sees Gretta play on stage for the first time in a little bar, his vision of how the song will sound together with a whole band plays out in his mind, colouring the song using the instruments on stage to create magic. Starved for some originality and true musical talent, Mark Ruffalo portays the music-crazy, semi-alcoholic, fired music exec Dan brilliantly with great comedic timing. Like any true artist, Dan just wants to create something raw and honest.

Dan of course offers Gretta, played by Keira Knightley, a record deal, even though he just got fired. At first Gretta says no, but after she just got dumped by her famous singer boyfriend Dave, played by Adam Levine, and having nothing to lose, she says yes to Dan who convinces her to record an album all over New York City in different locations.

The one thing everyone wants to know is: Can Keira Knightely sing? To be honest, her voice isn’t necessarily very memorable, pitch perfect or even loud, but it’s raw, honest and emotional which makes it so much more believable. And the songs in the film really fit her voice.

Adam Levine also features just enough in the film. He’s convincing as the boyfriend and then the ex who becomes a famous singer, getting just enough singing feature time with some really good songs to make this film worth it.

Appearances worth a mention include Cee Lo Green as rapper Troublegum, Mos Def as Dan’s business partner Saul, and James Corden as Gretta’s best musician friend Steve who joins the quirky band which they miraculously get together to record the album for free.

Although this film is mostly about the music - and believe me, if you’re a music freak like I am, then the music part will be enough for you to go watch it - it’s also about how kindred spirits and like-minded people find each other when they’re least expecting it. It’s about believing in yourself and what you’re putting out in the world.

This is probably the feel-good movie of the year.

A soul-stirring comedy about what happens when kindred spirits meet and make beautiful music together.
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Cathryn 2014/09/16 8:04 AM
Can't wait to see this
Sara Myles 2014/09/16 9:33 AM
LOVED this film. The music is the reason to check it out, its beautiful and - as this review says - honest and raw. Mark Ruffalo is turning out to be the most enigmatic actor working today. He's amazing……
verish 2014/09/29 4:52 PM
Absolutely loved this movie . Keira blew me away with her singing .
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