Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review of Begin Again

Also known as: Keira Knightley can SING, too?! She's actually the perfect human.

Keira Knightley plays Gretta, a songwriter with a british tomboy/Taylor Swift style living in New York with burgeoning rock star boyfriend, Dave (Adam Levine); she meets Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and embarks on a dream indie rock adventure, recording an entire album in the elements on the streets of New York. Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Ruffalo's teenage daughter, is incredible and I can't wait to see more of what she does in the future. James Corden plays the best friend who is comedic and warm and a perfect supporting character. This mixed group of artists, friends, family come together to harness the chaos of life and create something special. Life is just a journey of self-discovery for us all and, without spoilers, I love the ending. They did it perfectly.

If a movie draws an intense emotional response out of me, I know I love it. The entire experience of Begin Again, from beginning through the ups and downs to well beyond the end, was really happy. That seems like a stupid, simple way to describe it, but this movie had me absolutely brimming with happiness during and after. The way music and film can affect people is powerful.

Ruffalo's character comments in the film on how music can add meaning and depth to even the most mediocre moments, which is a really beautiful scene in the middle of a gorgeous film. We all know it's true--why were ear-buds the most important item to have on hand in high school for the time in between classes? Could you go to the gym without your iPod? A walk is calming and enjoyable, but can be arguably more pleasant when experienced with your own soundtrack. You get to be the music producer of your life. Those harmonious moments are what life is made of.

Previously titled "Can a Song Save Your Life?" with the tagline "You're only as strong as your next move" this is a story about feeling lost and how art and friendship can be vital support systems in moving forward. It's a love story to New York, friendship, love, art, to starting over and going back to begin all over again.

The music is available on iTunes and Spotify and I've already played through the album several times. Mainly written by Gregg Alexander, there are some jaw-dropping beautiful lines to be heard, especially in the lovely tones of Knightley and Levine.

Watch the trailer here.

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