La La Land is a breath of fresh air to the romantic film genre. It takes a departure from the predictability of Hollywood rom-coms and the worn sequence of will-they-won’t-they between the star-crossed lovers.
Mia (Stone) and Sebastian (Gosling) give a performance that harks back to the truly romantic era of film-making. As two dreamers with big ideas for their futures, a love affair between them witnesses the nurturing of the other’s dream and passionate encouragement to achieve it.
The musical numbers and their stripped back singing voices add to the originality of the story and take us through the development of their relationship. Damien Chazelle’s stylistic approach echoes Baz Luhrmann’s creative flare, perhaps slightly more tamed and sophisticated. The use of basic and bright colours captivate the eye, particularly in some of the dance sequences. Aesthetics alone prove La La Land to be a musical of immense originality, the music itself purely adds another dimension.
Stone and Gosling portray the heartache, determination and sacrifice that come along with achieving your dream…
The jazz song that draws the couple together becomes an integral part to the film, woven through the fabric of their romance. Time and time again Mia and Sebastian are drawn back to each other, fuelled by the palpable emotional hold that the notes have upon them. In fact, it is so significant that when Sebastian performs it at the end of the film, both he and Mia are transported to the very start of their story and a montage that illustrates an alternate story in which everything panned out in the way the audience would have hoped for.
This is what makes La La Land different. It confronts the harsh reality of falling in love and it not turning out as expected, often being strained and interrupted by life. Stone and Gosling portray the heartache, determination and sacrifice that come along with achieving your dream. All told through vibrant colour, singing and dance montages that are a modern-day nod to the golden age of musicals.
By Amelia Conway
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