#REVIEW: “BEGIN AGAIN”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Writer/Director John Carney comes back to Audiences’ hearts with his newest Feature Begin Again. Similar to his previous instalment Once, the beloved Musical, Carney focuses on a struggling Record Label Executive. He is under the gun to find hot new talent with the imminent threat of losing his job. This touching Film will has that something special which resonates, crossing-over between Musicians and avid Filmgoers. The only thing that truly separates the quality between Begin Again and Once is the spoon-fed emotion is more obvious than it was in Once. Despite this, Begin Again is still a beautiful Film that arguably is the break from summer blockbuster season that we all need.
The Film focuses on two Characters but, despite this, Supporting Characters are extremely important and get proper development as well. We meet Dan (Mark Ruffalo), the said Executive who has not signed a new Artist in years and the record, along with his Partner Saul (Mos Def), are letting him go due to his inability to deliver. Dan spirals into a downfall until he winds up in a Bar and hears the musical talents of Greta (Kiera Knightley). This is where the magic develops as he imagines the music playing itself as she performs. He has found his Muse/Saviour, but the only question is can she manage to pull herself together to save both of their hopeful careers? Unfortunately though, much like Dan, Greta is also in a slump of her own and is about the leave New York City. She wants to leave because her ex-Boyfriend, Dave (Adam Levine), has fallen in love with an Assistant at his Record Label. Maybe it is true that a Song can save your life in the eyes of Greta and Dan.
In a Movie about Musicians, transforming a Musician in to an Actor and vice-versa with Levine and Knightley and can be a daunting task, but luckily for Carney, he struck-out with Knightley. Surprisingly, Knightley’s voice is just beautiful and adds a dimenson to the Film in the way she carries herself through song. Levine however can has a few awkward moments – his performance overall falling a little flat. As well Mark Ruffalo did an outstanding job for his role of a Man on his last breath, truly feeling like it was all or nothing from his performance.
Begin Again absolutely nails it in terms of Musical Score with some fantastic original songs – especially Knightley‘s Like a Fool – which is phenomenal; a new personal favourite of mine, something that will definitely be on my iPod. As a Fan of Once both the Musical and the Movie, Falling Slowly will always be an absolute favourite but Like a Fool is certainly a close second favourite.
At times, Begin Again seems a bit intent to make its Audience feel something for the Characters and genuine emotion and feelings cannot be forced. In the end, Begin Again gives us a proper Dramedic break that we all needed this Summer at the Movies.
eOne Films release BEGIN AGAIN on Friday, July 11, 2014.