La La Land – Film Review

I’m not one to pay attention to the Golden Globes however it was absolutely impossible to stay ignorant about the explosion that the film La La Land seemed to have caused towards the end of 2016. Even for someone, who has ‘A Rock’ sprawled as my home address, to hear of such ludicrousy just automatically categorized this movie as a ‘must-watch’. I have always had a soft spot for classic old school films and hearing Hollywood having a crack at producing a film utilizing such a style once again definitely intrigued me. Hence, I sat down with my family one afternoon and we watched it; I swear you could smell the enthusiasm in the air. We’re looking at a film that managed to nab all of the Golden Globes that they were nominated for!

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The opening was amazing. The song was excellent, the dance sequence was great and oh the many bright colours. However, all of that anticipation quickly turned to boredom as I managed to win a bet with my family by pinpointing all of the film’s events within the first fifteen minutes. The film was predictable, slow and tiresome as we all lost count of how many times Ryan Gosling sang ‘City of Stars’. Sure, I applaud him for learning the sequence to it on the piano but honestly being amazed at the fact that ‘he can sing’ is not considered to be a selling point in this film. They had to incorporate John Legend for no apparent reason for crying out loud! I wouldn’t exactly consider Ryan to be tone-deaf but the sheer boredom in that monotonous singing melody of his was ridiculous. It’s unfathomable that he managed to snag a Golden Globe with that performance!

I will not lie. Some of the tunes on the La La Land Movie Soundtrack are definitely worth another listen. ‘Another Day of Sun’, ‘Someone In The Crowd’ and ‘Summer Montage/ Madeline’ would be my top three. With that being said, if I were to ever hear ‘City of Stars’ being hummed, sung or being played in any sort of form; someone’s just begging to have their eye gouged out. I’m not even kidding.

Unique? Classic? Lies.

La La Land’s attempt at returning to the whole Broadway scene was honestly very dissatisfying. Wearing a fancy dress and doing a little jig while hitting a few notes – missing a few notes (more like) for Ryan – does not automatically categorise the film as  worthy of being compared to the classics. As a fan of many classic Broadway films such as Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady and maybe even The Sound of Music, La La Land does not even come close. Here’s a prediction, this film may have been miraculously (ridiculously) hyped up through the internet and the Golden Globes but it honestly lacks any sort of creativity or outstanding performances.

Don’t strain your eyeballs, I can feel your critical stares from over here.

It’s no lie.

Name one earth-shattering performance in that film that truly warranted those 7 Golden Globe Awards. It’s obviously not Emma or Ryan. I can tell you that this film really was not a testament towards Ryan’s acting capabilities. Sure, we’ve pointed out the whole dancing, instrument playing and singing thing but we’ve also rightfully knocked them down. Honestly, without even pointing out those extra details, there was really nothing extraordinary about his performance either. Wasn’t it odd how eerily similar his monologue to Emma was to Rachel McAdams? I’m serious, it’s been twelve years! And yet he delivers the exact same speech comprising of the exact same words with the exact same ‘finger-jabbing’ motion.  You would’ve at least thought that he’d developed some sort of range in acting over the past decade. Alas, just as Ryan has shown no signs of aging, his acting capabilities has shown no sign of growth.

Some may say that this film encapsulated the raw emotions and obstacles faced by budding performers who undergo the ever-growing struggles of lacking acknowledgement for one’s art. I may not completely relate to this film in such a sense however, I’ve just recently viewed the film: SING. Sure, maybe it does not exactly correlate to La La Land; for starters, it’s an animated film. Both share a similar underlying theme in terms of highlighting the trial and tribulations of aspiring performers but let’s just settle one thing. That film triggered my water works and yet La La Land has yet to receive a single tear from me.  I wonder if that says it all.

I wouldn’t exactly consider La La Land to be a terrible film or a miss. However I will say that it was rather disappointing that a film, such as this, managed to stow away 7 Golden Globes. One thing’s for sure, Ryan Gosling’s definitely thanking his stars for turning down the chance to play the Beast. He managed to skip the prosthetics and still score a Golden Globe.

 

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