The 2016 masterpiece, a claimed tribute to the glorious classic genre of the musicals, starts off with a ‘Step Up’ inspired stuck on a highway performance that introduces Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as the starring cast. The director, Damien Chazelle, having a history of the intense ‘Whiplash’ holds a place, higher than that of a drawn-out Hollywood flick that flatters Hollywood itself, as La La Land altered it.
Mia is a barista and a struggling, every day auditioning actress for Hollywood (still drives around in a brand new Prius). Seb is an obsessed jazz musician, who plays piano for a living. Following the footsteps of a quintessential American millennial-starring flick, La La Land progresses as the protagonists start having a tough time building up their careers, and get closer to each other in the process.
The scenes building up are just like that of any other adult looking for a stable job whilst battling with self for following their dreams. It is a make believe musical that Ryan Gosling with his brawny arms or Emma Stone with her charming demeanor are acting through, clumsily transitioning into reality, not knowing what stands out in the movie, besides the brightly coloured wardrobe or the sunsets. Definitely not their act.
The whole ‘Singing in the Rain’ feel desperately trying to keep up with something being made in the 2016, seemingly paying a homage to the musicals, ending up with deteriorating the whole concept of a sub conscious state of mind reflecting into reality, while singing. The script lacked coherence with the chemistry of the couple on screen; resulting in supposedly heart felt dialogues to come off as mere words.
The cinematography being covered mostly in the natural light and every frame of the film, as if tailor made to fit the criteria of bagging an award, was the only thing that keeps one’s eyeballs bound to the screen. Adding to the psychology of colour in the film, every dress Mia or Seb wore indicated a mood, a blatant emotion, that looks like a bit too much in the face, considering how far mainstream cinema has come in terms of costuming.
Keeping up with the narrative, what impressed me was how both the main characters go on to fulfill their dreams and don’t even let their sweet love interfere with their passion. Basically the last ten minutes of the movie had more punch than the rest 80 minutes. Last but not the least, one cannot be thankful enough for the beautifully composed ‘City of Stars’ performed by Seb and Mia to add a recall value to the film.