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Film Review: “La La Land”



Musicals are dead. That’s what everyone thought, including us, before La La Land came and completely turned this thought on its head. This all-singing, all-dancing musical is an homage to the genre that does not necessarily find Hollywood on its side. Truth be told, the recent musicals, most notably, Frozen and its Let It Go, have done enough harm to the genre as it is. But, La La Land is the living proof that even in this day of superhero movies, and blockbuster franchises, a fine musical can emerge, if allowed to. Barring some horrible mishap, there is no doubt that La La Land will bag an Oscar this time. However, the film had some heavy competition this Oscar season.

This is the story of two hopeless romantics inevitably falling in love with each other in the City of Stars. They are dreamers. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is an aspiring jazz pianist, and Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress. The story is one of hope, disappointment, dreams, and bitter-sweet reality of life. The two are drawn to each other’s passion for their dreams. They are both at a point in their lives where they crave their aspirations with all their heart. That very heart is now yearning for each other. So, between dreams and love-of-a-lifetime, what is more important? Which would you choose? Finally, did they even have a choice in the way things played out in their lives? This is the story of two lovebirds, who just like a thousand others that flock to Los Angeles with their eyes full of dreams and their pockets empty. But, not all dreams are meant to be, and once in a while, one or two of them do come true. At what cost? At what sacrifices? Enjoy this musical to visit this mysterious place of glamor, makeup, and stardom.

The musical numbers in the movie do an amazing job of capturing the emotions of the two leads of the movie. Starting from the opening number to the final melancholic moments, the movie is a treat for your ears. This has become so much rare in Hollywood, thanks in no part to its fixation on visuals. For this reason alone, La La Land deserves special credit. Yes, you can watch the movie at home, on your television or on your phone while you are traveling. But, to truly experience its awesomeness, you have to get yourself up, dust the chips off of your chest, get yourself ready, and go to the theater. There, you will get to experience La La Land in all its glory, accompanied by the groans, applauses, laughter, and the tears. This is a musical journey that has given us another reason to visit the theaters, especially an IMAX, if there’s one near you and enjoy the magic of cinemas.

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Chazelle has been waging a campaign singlehandedly to revive the cinema-going experience for the viewers, and his task will have unintended consequences. Truth be told, after you have experienced La La Land and its sublime musical score in cinemas, you will find a renewed interest in not only cinemas, but Broadway shows as well. However, there is one reason why watching these kind of stories on the big screen is better than a Broadway adaptation. On the big screen, you get to see up close the smallest of glints in the eyes, and the twitches in the corner of the lips, which can give a whole new meaning to a particular scene. In La La Land, Emma’s Mia is seen constantly wearing that glint in her doe-like eyes that can make any man fall in love with her instantly. They also betray the tears that keep welling up in response to the whole lot of twists of fate that life keeps throwing at her. Ryan’s Sebastian, for his part, wears his characteristic sardonic smile, as if dismissing his life’s worries or his feelings for Mia, which are making it unbearable for him to hold them inside. The silly hopeless romantics.

The choice of Emma and Ryan couldn’t have been better. They have an evidently smooth chemistry that enables them to deliver stunning performance in the movie. Whether they are dancing on the freeways or sharing a meaningful moment in the observatory, you can’t help but wonder “Wow! Are they made for each other or what!” Despite them not being singers, both of them have managed to do justice to their dance sequences with an elegance that deserves a special mention.

But, just because their chemistry is spectacular to watch, don’t expect everything to go smooth between Mia and Seb. The couple soon realizes that their pursuit of their career will surely come between them. They eventually find themselves at the crossroads, and they have to make their choice. The ending may not be something that you expect from such a movie. In fact, if you are young and are yet to go through life’s ups and downs, you might even be surprised by the climax. On the other hand, if you have lived through the vagaries of the real life, then you will know that the climax is pretty much how the real life works, in general.

If you feel that Chazelle has not made a single attempt to make the audience happy, then you need to think again. Just imagine the number of pretty women, and handsome men coming to Los Angeles every year, and how many of them actually find what they wanted here. A lot of them would end up in such shapes that they would die switch places with Mia and Seb’s places.

So, did they get what they wanted, or did they not? Why don’t you get off that couch now and find out yourself! It will be a memorable experience that will last with you a long time. Check out the flick when it airs on TV with an awesome Comcast cable plan.

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