Sunday, January 22, 2017

Here's To The Fools Who Dream: My Review of La La Land

Sometimes I secretly wish that I could just burst into songs and dance in public places whenever I feel emotional without being labeled as a crazy person. But unfortunately that's not possible, and I'm a terrible singer and dancer anyway haha, so I will never do that. To fulfill my fantasy, I usually just watch people do that in musicals. 
One of the most popular musical films this year is La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as the leads. Just a few days after La La Land was crowned as the best musical or comedy film of the year in the Golden Globe Awards, the film was released in my country. I didn't expect it to be released here that fast because they usually wait until after the Oscars to release award-winning films, but didn't complain. As I said before in one of my older posts (click here to read it and see the synopsis of La La Land), I had been very excited to watch this movie.

Before I start, I need you to know that this review contains spoilers. I just have to talk about the ending because it's just so powerful and great.

I've never seen anything like La La Land before.

Visually, this film is very artistic and dramatic. Here, we can see men and women twirling and jumping around in bright-colored outfits as they sing together, a dark purple sky that is full of stars during night scenes, people vanish as the lights get focused on the main characters whenever they lose themselves in the songs... Just so dreamy. A lot of people say that La La Land looks like classic musical films, which I've never seen before. Surprisingly, these dreamy qualities are combined with a very realistic story. The story is very relatable, not just for people who work in the show business like Mia and Sebastian, but for anyone who is pursuing their dreams. I really love it when a film can combine these qualities. I think the credit should be given to director/screenwriter Damien Chazelle. 

La La Land is basically carried by its two lead actors: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. The chemistry between these two is one of the best things about this film. I really love watching the scenes where they just talk to each other because, there, you can really see the strong bond between them. Their performances also touch my heart many times. I can see myself in Sebastian when he gets frustrated as he tries to explain to Mia, who states that she doesn't like jazz, why he is so passionate about jazz. I imagine I must be just like him whenever I explain to other people why I love films and books haha. When Sebastian tells Mia to give her all if she gets a role in the film she auditions for, my heart just breaks because, at that moment, I know that he loves her and wants her to be happy even though that means she will have nothing left for him because she has given her all to her dreams. Mia's last audition before she becomes a successful actress, the one where she sings Audition, really destroys me because  it shows a lot of emotions. Emma and Ryan totally deserve to win Oscars this year.

Mia and Sebastian

The most important aspect in a musical is definitely the songs. La La Land features seven original songs and all are very catchy and awesome. After seeing the movie, I just can't stop singing City of Stars, a duet performed by Emma and Ryan. I even have memorized the lyrics now. Audition is, as I said before, so beautiful and emotional. The scene where Ryan and Emma dance as they sing A Lovely Night is so iconic and memorable; it makes me want to learn tap dance haha. The opening scene in the middle of a terrible traffic jam, which features Another Day of Sun, is so epic. They even made a parody of it for the opening of this year's Golden Globes.


La La Land is amazing in every aspect, but if I have to choose my favorite part of it, I would choose the ending. [SPOILER ALERT] At the end of the film, Mia and Sebastian have made their dreams come true but live separately. When they accidentally meet again, Mia imagines what her life would be like if they decide to stay together. The life she imagines (which is presented in such a beautiful way that looks like a musical performance on a stage) is wonderful, but, in that life, Sebastian would have to sacrifice his dreams to be with her. That is why it is best for Mia and Sebastian not to be together; because none of them could sacrifice their dreams. It doesn't mean that they don't love each other; it's because, in this life, we just can't have everything. There will always be things that we must let go and it's up to us to decide which one it is that we want to keep and which one to sacrifice. Mia and Sebastian choose to let go of each other, but there are other peope who choose to give up their dreams and be with the ones they love. Some others also choose to compromise and change their dreams in order to make things work. None of the choices is better than the others because people have different ways of thinking and priorities. I think this is a very powerful message that everybody needs to understand. It gets me thinking about it for a long time, even until now. Another interesting thing about the ending is the fact that they show how Mia and Sebastian's life would be if Sebastian, the guy, sacrifices his dreams. In my country, and possibly others too, it's usually the women who are expected to give up their dreams in order to take care of their families when they marry their men. A lot of people think that it is normal for women to do that. I'm not saying that it is wrong for women to do that - it's actually very heroic, but not all women are willing to do that and that's okay too - but have you ever imagined what it would be like if a man sacrifices his dreams to be with his woman and allow her to reach her dreams? I just find it interesting.

So, does La La Land deserve all the buzz it has been receiving? Definitely yes! Go see La La Land everybody! If you're still not convinced, take a look a this clip!

Rating: 5/5 

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