Delayed reaction alert! We just watched this movie two weeks ago, when it was actually in theaters back in July. It’s been a while since I last blogged about movies or shows I watched, but I’m absolutely hooked to this one I thought it deserves a post.
I have a thing for indie films like this one, although one may question the indie-ness of this film since the cast is kind of star-studded—Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine. It was such a treat to see all three of them in one film.
Watching Begin Again reminded me so much of Once, which is why I wasn’t surprised when I later found out that it was, in fact, written and directed by John Carney. I knew it.
Have you seen it? You should see it! I mean, if you’re like us who have been out of the loop for a while, and maybe unaware that you missed out on a good film.
Let’s begin with the most mababaw reason why I love Begin Again:
I love Keira Knightley’s wardrobe, and how effortless she looked, and yet with so much personality still. I love her, crooked teeth and all, period.
I love Keira’s character Greta, and I find her artistry and courage very inspiring. She reminded me how it feels like, to be lost and heartbroken; and how strangely liberating it is to not know what’s going to happen next you just know you have to take that first step.
I love that it’s not a love story, that it defied the usual happy-ever-after endings we’ve all expected from rom coms. It did have a love story angle, but the movie was more about finding your way after losing it, choosing what truly matters in life, and the unexpected friendships you build along the way.
I love that it was about passion, and music, and New York City. Ohh it was a tribute to New York City alright. It’s been a while since the last time I was in New York, and watching movies like this has this effect on me that I can’t quite explain. Which is maybe why I shouldn’t try to explain it now.
I love that it gave every character some form of closure. I love that Dave (Adam Levine) realized what he traded for money and fame, and that he knew enough to fight for her even though he still ended up losing her the second time. His attempt to get her back validated the man he really is, that he wasn’t totally lost in the smokes and mirrors of his career. And I love that Dan (Mark Ruffalo) got validation, and recovered everything he thought he lost—his love, his family, his career.
I love that Dan and Greta chose friendship, even though there were hints that they could be falling for each other. And even though walking around Manhattan while listening to Greta’s playlist with a headphone-splitter was probably the most. romantic. thing. ever.
“You can tell a lot about a person by what’s on their playlist,” Dan said, and Greta shyly opened up her playlist to him.
I mean, can you imagine if the film ended this way?
It didn’t end that way, of course, but those scenes were taped, only to be cut off in the final editing I suppose. I guess somewhere in production, John Carney thought it was more important for Dan to validate himself—that he is a great father, and he loves his wife, and he’s amazing at his job. Likewise, it was more empowering for Greta to be able to find herself, and she doesn’t need a man to save her and to take her out of her misery.
I think the story ended the best possible way.
And the soundtrack—we love it.
Begin Again stirred up something inside of me and made me want to write, to create something beautiful, and well, to chase dreams. I hope whatever it is you’re watching lately stirs your heart in some major way too.