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REVIEW: ‘LA LA LAND’ Dares You to Dream, to Love and to Be!

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: Damien Chazelle
 
Produced by: Fred Berger, Gary Gilbert
 
Written By: Damien Chazelle
 
Starring: Ryan Gosling, John Legend and JK Simmons
 
MTRCB Rating: PG
 
Genre: , ,
 
FG RATING
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

Raves


Screenplay, Cinematography, Songs, Performances, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

Rants


Uneven narrative structure and pacing


An aspiring actress and jazz musician crosses paths to pursue their dreams, that’s as simple as La La Land’s premise can be, it could be any other love story with a playlist but the director Damien Chazelle takes into something unimaginably magical and tackles the social discourse of the LA scene. The narrative explores to […]

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Posted January 13, 2017 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

An aspiring actress and jazz musician crosses paths to pursue their dreams, that’s as simple as La La Land’s premise can be, it could be any other love story with a playlist but the director Damien Chazelle takes into something unimaginably magical and tackles the social discourse of the LA scene.

The narrative explores to the “starving artist” concept: individuals taking odd jobs, gigs and other available work to meet their ends while juggling to make a break on the business and the grueling process brings an uneasy, and there’s the emotional toll in it. In Mia’s case as an aspiring actress for instance, who goes audition after audition and taking that scornful response from the casting director.

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Visually nuanced, the elaborate camera movements expresses that “aspiring” feel, it gives you that sense of excitement and conveys the whole entertain and that feel you want to dream, play and just simply have fun even if there you face such rejection such as Mia’s case; the opening song “Another Day in the Sun” where a people went out of their cars the traffic jam, the cinematographer, Linus Sandren moves the camera around the passengers and follows the and it choreography.

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While the camera moves, what I like about the warm pastel colored lighting evokes that unspoken emotion, the dimmed-theater-esque backdrop, Seb and Mia dancing at the observatory, “flies” and then the lights set allows us to immerse on the magic, surreal feel of it.

What makes La La Land a musical is that it doesn’t aspire to be one: every song that is being played becomes a part of a dialogue as well as the narrative rather than a part of a musical program or some playlist, the lyrics syncs well with the dialogue and that makes it in line to the screenplay that gives a more harmonized experience.

“Hollywood worships everything but values nothing” Seb says. The discourse on the entertainment scene summed in one sentence and you can tell that it’s more than just a musical but the dialogue also doesn’t hold back on their criticism on the indulgent, pleasing the crowd rather than the artistic authenticity aspect and it balances well with the vibrant charm of old Hollywood that we grew and fell in love ever since.

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s chemistry is so real that there’s a lot of adjectives and things to describe, every detail is just very vivid: their eye contact, exchange of dialogue their singing and dancing, they didn’t need to demand the audience’ attention because they are the show itself, I think it’s just they’re so into it. They make us dare to dream, dare to love and dare to be.

On the side note, seeing their story unfold and when Seb got his career break, he slowly delves away from his own ideals and being eaten by the system, his relationship with Mia along with attaining their careers also gives of the need to comply and survive.

If there’s one shortcoming that the film has it would be the inconsistent narrative structure, which is all over the place and seen the transition of the second act to the third that is struggling to wrap up everything and instead, we’re given a sort of montage of a “what if” montage in around 7 minutes for Mia and Seb, it quite fast-paced, fun and mesmerizing and it becomes an experimental surrealist short film on its own.

But despite of the narrative structure, La La Land is musically mesmerizing, every second will capture your emotions from start to finish, the movie is celebration of dreaming, musicals, Hollywood and filmmaking.


Mico Orda

 
A passionate, enthusiastic writer, Mico Orda utilizes his filmmaking skills to keep his writer’s edge. He enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, which juice up his creative juices.


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