Movie Reviews

Begin Again (2013) – “New York Melody”

 

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Coming from John Carney, the Irish director of the independent movie Once from 2007, Begin Again follows a similar story line with the previous mentioned movie, this time having a bigger production value and a much more famous cast, fit for the cinemas in the United States and that can make him more acknowledged. This is a movie about music, and having Gregg Alexander (a Grammy winning composer) as the writer for the majority of the songs is a big plus.

The movie begins with the portrayal of Greta’s (Keira Knightley) and Dan’s (Mark Ruffalo) lives, two random strangers that meet after having a breakdown point in their lives. In the middle of one lonely night Dan sees Greta singing at a bar (after one of her friends obliges her to do so) and starts having the inspiration that he was missing for so long. As an ex music producer he starts imagining how the song that Greta performs will sound if it was produced properly so he decides to make her a shining star. Greta caves in with Dan’s offer, after being somehow hard to convince because she is no hasty woman even after being cheated by her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine), now a famous musician.

The characters of Greta and Dan are somehow contradictory but that leads to an almost perfect completion. Dan is impulsive and desperate and Greta is calm and thoughtful. Obviously everything revolves around music and its creative process, but the magic of this movie comes from the structure of the characters that evolves from the plot itself and makes the story fit the characters like a glove. The strife that Dan holds within him (and the way Mark Ruffalo portrays it in such a well-defined manner) is something typical for a creator inside a music industry that is decaying and gives us the occasion to spectate a sobbing matter.

The performance of the actors is note-perfect, even with its bits of romantic attitudes, and leaves no place for inconclusive feelings. Even Dan’s ex-wife Miriam and his daughter Violet are played by amazing actresses (Catherine Keener and Hailee Steinfeld) and that also makes the cast an excellent one.

It’s a movie about redefining who you are as an individual, with beautiful and sweet scenes, making no drawback from bright humor that engages the spectator into meditating at the imperfection of our own lives. Undoubtedly everything about this movie must be taken in with a light perspective, which makes it such a delightful production. It makes it easy for the audience to discover a story of self-awareness with admirable characters than can offer you a gratifying experience.

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