If you haven’t gone to see it, then you should go see it. Hop down to your local cinema and let two hours and eight minutes’ of your life be totally absorbed by this film’s charm. I was completely swept away by all of the energetic choreography, the entire electrifying soundtrack and one bloody heck of a plot. Spoilers ahead.
The crux of the film is beautifully relatable: at one point in life, you’ll find someone who accentuates you, who drives you and turns you into the best possible you. Your passions are their passions and theirs are yours. This type of love feels like genuinely being in a musical; with compatibility so sweet who can’t help but sing and tap your heels to a beat?
Yet the tragedy of many a relationship is that it just doesn’t work out. As with the case of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) their dreams of doing what they love do not coincide with being together. Their personal success and ambition seems to inevitably cause a rift and their relationship becomes no longer feasible. (Much to our dismay.)
Yet the amicability and importance of their relationship is lovely and frustrating. Five years later, when Mia is a fully fledged actress, married and a mother, she encounters Sebastian again in his jazz club. They can’t help but reminisce about the magical days when they were so integral to each other’s’ lives and what could have been…
Another crucial part of the film, which I loved was the ‘Death of Jazz’. Sebastian desperately tries to cling on to the genre throughout the film, but he is swayed to a new-jazz scene by Mia and his old pal Keith (John Legend). One point which struck me was when Keith turns to Sebastian, as he is about to join Keith’s band, and says:
‘You’re not a revolutionary, you’re a traditionalist.’ (Or something similar along those lines.)
And I loved this thought so much, because yes, I do agree to some extent that genres should progress and suit new generations. I frequently find myself agreeing with sayings like: ‘the old must give way to the new’ and ‘adaptability is key’. But it is also a heart-breaking sentiment. Why must such a revolutionary and historical genre be forgotten about? It’s saddening watching Sebastian and jazz be morphed in a way that feels unnatural because no one appreciates them. Happily, Sebastian’s true love of jazz survives- unhappily, he cannot be with Mia.
My rating is 10/10 for Stone and Gosling’s flawless performances, its beautiful imagery, its gripping plot. Go see it if not for the songs, the dances, the whole-shebang.