A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I decided to go and see ‘La La Land’. With it being so critically acclaimed, I thought I might as well add my own thoughts into the mix! So here is my review of it…
After seeing the trailer a number of times, and also many short preview clips online and on TV (and also after the record-breaking number of Golden Globe awards it won) I had really wanted to see what the fuss was about.
Well, what a film!
I thought it was a real masterpiece. Without giving anything away, the story is based around two central characters: Mia, an actress (Emma Stone) and Sebastian, a jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) who are both trying to pursue their dreams, but facing many obstacles in the way. In my opinion, the central message of the film is the importance of pursuing your dream no matter what. Through Mia and Sebastian, the audience is shown that many things can get in the way of you pursuing and fulfilling your dreams, however you must never give up. It is so important that when you have a dream, you must keep focussed on it and not let anything get in the way of this.
Although the film was incredible, I did find the plot fairly predictable. I also did find the era that it was set in slightly unclear and perhaps even confused? Although the technology that was used in the film illustrated that it was set in modern day Hollywood, the film itself had a feel of ’20s Hollywood – especially the characters’ outfits and the music. So the film being set in modern day society seemed a little jarring. However, apart from these minor things, I loved everything about it!
The music was beautiful and although it was a musical, this aspect never felt forced or clunky as can often be the case with films in this genre. Many people will have heard the catchy melody that is the soundtrack to most of the film’s trailers and teaser videos. Known as ‘City of Stars’, the song was performed by Gosling himself and is a central part of the film. It’s so catchy and was stuck in my head all evening after I went to see it! Although neither Gosling or Stone were particularly incredible singers, I think that the film would have not been as effective if this had not been the case. It made the film’s musical-ness seem much more spontaneous and natural.
In a similar way, I really liked the characters of Mia and Sebastian. Many other characters floated in and out of the film without leaving an imprint on the plot and I thought this was a fantastic technique. It was incredibly effective as the narrative of ‘La La Land’ was focussed entirely upon Mia and Sebastian. As a result of this, these characters were developed in huge detail and so became very realistic to the audience. I thought that both Gosling and Stone were fantastic, and both characters were very believable and realistic. It didn’t feel as though they were acting, everything was very natural. This was also the case for the way the two characters interacted romantically, however I don’t want to ruin the plot so I won’t go into any further detail on this!
I was a huge admirer of the way the dialogue had been constructed. It was very subtle, and much more was communicated through paralinguistic features such as body language and facial expressions. The dialogue was also only used when absolutely necessary and I thought that this really complemented the style of the film and contributed to its overall effectiveness. From a writer’s perspective, I think the whole film was written beautifully, and the whole thing flowed seamlessly from dialogue to music, and everything in between!
Overall, I thought that ‘La La Land’ was a brilliant film. I think it was really beautiful and had a very powerful and important message at its core. From the plot to the dialogue, the music to the acting, everything in the film seemed so effortlessly natural and I feel like this makes ‘La La Land’ very enjoyable and easy to watch. I would really recommend you go and watch it because it has a very wide appeal so could be enjoyed by a wide range of people.
If you have already seen it, please leave a comment telling me what you thought of it – I’d love to hear your opinions! And if anyone has any recommendations of other films that are on at the moment, that would be great!
Until next time,