Wednesday, 23 November 2011


2006 by John Carney - English movie from Ireland

I am not very fond of Hollywood musicals. There are ones I liked and ones I found bohring. It is funny, I say this as an Indian, where almost all our movies are musical, strange musicals though. For us, music is just a way to make a movie more entertaining and popular, some ways to explain a situation in an extravagant way when the writer or director do not have other ways to show the intimacy or emotionality of a moment. And mostly just for pure fun. Western musicals, in that ways, is very different from ours. Anyways... this is quite a very different musical and it is simply brilliant.

A man meets a girl. Both are into music and they work together to record the man's own songs. 

The plot is as simple as that and unlike most musicals, there are not even so many characters. In fact in Once, there are only these two people, an unnamed man and woman who simply love music. Of course, when such people interact, love is on the edge and movie just look at it in the realistic way. But still for some parts, this movie felt as much as a romantic movie as much as it is a musical.

Now the most interesting and brilliant part of this music - unlike almost all musical movies I have seen, the man and the woman in this movie are real musicians. Yes, they are musicians first who just acted for this movie. And almost all the music in this movie are their own creations. Yet, they have achieved what a seasoned actor would struggle to achieve. They have acted brilliantly. And add to it the touch of professionalism during the performing scenes, they are cent percent genuine. Of course, that is inevitable I think. Two persons who can create their own music act the part as two persons who are into music, how can it not be sincere and genuine.

And since almost everything happens only between these two characters, all the music are genuine music moments, unlike in many musicals where characters interact through songs. In Once, music occurs only when the characters are performing or practising or creating music. So it is bloody realistic too. And what a beautiful musical score! I have already made up mind to find the sound track of this movie.

I loved both our actors. They were so realistic. And the lady especially, what a charming girl she is. Brilliant.

I cannot stop this without giving a big salute to the director. He is a maestro to make such a beautiful, simple and subtle movie. There were a couple of moments when I almost felt goose bumps. That final shot, when the camera slowly pans out of the window of our heroine, was brilliant. What an end!!!