(I lost my Kimi no nawa review draft…so I’ll hafta rewatch before I make another review. In the mean time, here’s a quick critique of LA LA LAnd)
Upon watching La La Land, the most obvious avenue of focus would have to be the ending. It was what I had initially been told of by friends and family who had watched the movie before I did. I had read in reviews that it was pegged as the crowning glory of the movie which left the entire production on a down note which is not often seen in films portrayed to be whimsical as it had when shown in mere trailers.
This ending is where the protagonists imagine an alternate occurrence of their lives if they had stayed with the one another. These two former lovers who have long since separated due to circumstances that were just beyond their control had crossed paths once more and they get to witness each other’s lives and how it turned out for the other. This provokes the wandering of our two leads. This ending claimed to be one which highlighted the reality of choices made and how a certain thing can end up far different from how one may wish.
The fact that life will not turn out how one may wish it to is given focus. This adds up to the sentimental value of the film in entirety. People often elevate movies which portray a little bit more of reality than fiction as most believe to be able to relate to such movies far more. I believe it was a very nice touch for the movie to end on a sort of bittersweet happy ending. The couple we initially rooted for did not end up together, however, they did reach their dreams and acquire exactly what they had wanted from the very start.
Notwithstanding are two ways to view this ending. One mentioned above is how life in not very predictable and will often consist of plot twists and holes. More often than not, to stray as far as possible to exactly how you want it. Another way to view the ending is to acknowledge Sacrifice and in the context of the industry of both our protagonists who are budding artists, Sacrifice is not only something easily associated with them, but also is very much expected of them.
Often have we heard of fame coming with a price. Success an outcome of immense hardship and toil. In order to rise above and reach your dreams and ambitions, things must shift, change and rearrange. It will not be uncommon to lose relationships and gain new ones. Some relationship though not ending may change course. Partnered with sacrifice is our protagonists’ determination and conviction in the stretch of their ambitions. We see their struggle and we find ourselves joyous of their victories at the end.
Moreover, with the Movie, one interesting thing to note is the music score. The lyrics and the main song when studied shows that there were hints or “Easter Eggs” which foreshadowed the ending. It was a clever move and appreciation must be shown to whoever chose and placed the songs in their positions from the beginning to the end.
Moving forward, from the point of view of one who is very fond or even as far as to say passionate, about Musical Theater, I believe the movie was a very good movie; however, as a musical, it did not move me as much as I had expected it too. I concede that perhaps other people’s verdicts had influenced me to watch the movie armed with high expectations, nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie and enjoyed the music and songs and dance; as they were truly entertaining, but I did not feel gobsmacked by the lyrics or by the melodies. I did not feel an outwardly magic or the feeling of being lifted off of my feet by mere melody alone.
The dancing was decently ordinary. If I had discovered La La Land as a stage performance, It would not have stuck to me as musicals like Legally Blonde, Sweeney Todd, Heathers, or Carrie had. Granted, simplicity does have a strong note, but it is just a matter of taste when I relent the greatness of La La Land.
To conclude, The movie is one deserving of praise as it was done well, is well thought of, and very entertaining. However, the movie as of my view, stand alone as a great movie but at best stand mediocre as a musical.
As a movie 4/5
As a musical 3/5