Brief Reviews: Begin Again

July 12th, 2014, 12am

It was 24.4°C with scattered clouds. The breeze was light.

If you’ve considered seeing Begin Again, dive into a beautiful character study paired with some surprisingly enjoyable music. With the exception of Adam Levine’s questionable facial hair, this move really shouldn’t be missed if you love musicals.

Technically I wouldn’t call Begin Again a musical, since there is music in the movie but not as part of the narrative (though one could certainly debate that assertion), but it’s still the kind of movie that’s best suited to people who don’t mind the characters breaking into song. Kiera Knightly shows true commitment to her craft, having learned guitar and taking singing lessons for the role, and actually bears the emotional weight of her character with surprising agility (I’ll admit I’m not her biggest fan, but there are certain strengths she’s developing as an actress over time). Mark Ruffalo is my favorite character, with the most meaningful supporting character arc I’ve seen in a while. In some ways, Kiera’s ‘Gretta’ is the catalyst for Mark’s ‘Steve’ getting his life together, and the two have great chemistry on screen.

(Was anyone else totally smitten when Stevie Wonder came on, or was it just me?)

I found myself in love with this movie for both the emotions it evoked within me, and the way it resonated with my life. I can’t say I’ve been in the exact situation as any of these characters, but there were moments where I could feel what they felt. On top of a beautiful story, charming music, and a great use of New York as a set, I was distinctly pleased with the holistic experience of Begin Again.

It’s not a movie for everyone (is any movie for everyone?), but it’s got a lot of appeal: big stars, beautiful music, and a story that should warm even the coldest of hearts. Give Begin Again a chance if you haven’t heard of it; I promise you’ll be pleased.

Christine, Sanna, Vivien, Shu and 4 others said thanks.

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Valerie Stimac

Constraints create lots of great things, diamonds and creativity among them.

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