Sunday, December 9, 2007

'Once', once more.

ONCE (John Carney, 2007)

Pardon the cliche headline.

Once definitely did not live up to its title. Because i ended up watching it over and over again, every day since i first saw it. For such a 'small' movie, i never expected it to be so addictive.

I have or apparently, had, little interest towards 'musical' films in general. I never saw Singin' In The Rain(sue me), and I did not like Dreamgirls. I guess the idea of people suddenly burst out into a dance number in the middle of the road doesn't appeal to me that much. But Once is something else altogether. It's a landmark for the 'modern' musical films. Gone are the razzle-dazzle of traditional Hollywood musicals, elaborate choreographies and stagey set pieces. What we have here is more similar to a genuine, realistic 'indie' film;only it's driven by music to move the story.

There's no need for dialogues, for expositions, in order to understand the characters. The songs already gave a glimpse into their souls, into their hidden emotions. And the songs are indeed terrific. The leads are instantly lovable that I did not notice that the film never revealed their names, referring to them at the end credits only as 'Guy' (Glen Hansard) and 'Girl' (Marketa Irglova). And like Before Sunrise/Sunset, it's the chemistry of the leads that makes the film all the more compelling. Seeing that both of them are actually members of the band The Frames, so technically they're 'non-actors', but they can definitely act (better even than our own local "actors"). Maybe it's because of that fact that they're easy to root for. That they're not "stars", they’re just your average people, presenting their passion in music. Glen Hansard sings in the lead, with a the kind of voice that convey a flawed and broken character, and Marketa Irglova sings backup like a guardian angel. Watching over him.

I feel that there is no other film this year that is as heartfelt, and honest as Once. It's amazing how such a simple and sweet film like it could, in essence, lend so much depth about love and relationships. How two person can find harmony, and inspiration, with music. It's like the film transcends itself from its original ambition, from just a musical film, into a greater level. Into a work of art. I have run out of adjectives to express how much I love this gem of a movie. It's the best musical film I've seen, and one of the best romance film ever. I particularly loved the ending, which is pitch-perfect and defies Hollywood conventions. In truth, I think it's impossible for anyone not to like it, except the stone-hearted.


Here's a bit of a 'preview'. The song's entitled 'Falling Slowly'.


falling-evenstar said...

wow~ 5/5 and a preview...

you must be head over heels in love with this one! haha~

maberik said...


most definitely!

falling-evenstar said...


I haven't watched the movie but I am already addicted to the songs!!!

my fave is: All The Way Down. heh.

[skrg ni de quota baru: seminggu satu muvi jer boley tgk...sbb exam dh dekat~ minggu ni is Stardust, then 1408, pstu Hairspray, pastu plan nk tgk Fracture buat kali kedua]

maberik said...

haha patut tgk Once dulu, yg lain2 tolak belakang.

fadz said...

i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain, i love singin in the rain :) i wont sue u:)

maberik said...

woahh kene tengok gak la ni Singin In The Rain. tertarik jugak.

fadz said...

hey, singin in the rain is the MUSICAL dat did it for me how Princess Manonoke did it for Anime..