Monday, January 19, 2009

Review: Once

Once is a movie that I wanted to like. A movie I should like.

I like musicals. I like a certain type of artsy-literary story. I like foreign films.

I didn't like Once.

The film tells the story of two people who meet, and write/preform a set of songs together for an album. The two main characters are both basically paths crossing, on the way to repairing hurt relationships. The movie heavily leans on the songs, and is rather understated in terms of the emotional complexities the viewer is left to ponder. I enjoyed that aspect of the film. But I didn't really like the music. And if you don't like the music, then I fear that this film is rather wasted.

I can best describe the music as a popish-folk sound, with mumbled/screeched lyrics. I also don't like the stock type of the boy-with-guitar who plays through his life. Actually, I was often annoyed by those types in school--couldn't deal with the constant noise, or the just sitting around and jamming etc. Chalk it up to my lack of musical talent coupled with a slight empathy deficit toward things I don't get. Or juvenile impatience with other ways of processing the experiences of life.

So, really, I disliked this film for entirely selfish and personal reasons. I actually liked many other things about the film such as the minimalist dialogue and the not-to-satisfying ending.

It really does have a lot going for it if you are into the sort of thing.

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