• Movie Review: La La Land

    by  • January 13, 2017 • Entertainment, Homepage, Movie Reviews • 0 Comments

    La La Land followed the story of two performers trying to find success in California. Their idea of success however, differed. Mia wanted to become a popular actress while Sebastian wanted to own his own jazz club and play piano.

    Male lead, actor Ryan Gosling. Photo From WikiMedia.

    La La Land won seven awards at this year’s Golden Globes. The movie won every category it was nominated for, including best motion picture - musical or comedy, best director, best screenplay, best score and best actor and actress for the leads.

    Starting off with a musical number, on what seems like an endless highway, where after people ignore the traffic and begin to sing and dance on their cars. When that musical number ends is when Mia and Sebastian first meet. When Mia and Sebastian, are introduced, though it isn’t a love at first sight moment at all. Sebastian cuts Mia off while she ignores the traffic ahead of her. The fact that in their third meeting, Mia still had a boyfriend seems almost irrelevant to the story. That fact was so insignificant to them because they must have felt it would have been wrong to not be together.

    From the moment they finally did kiss their relationships seemed perfect. Their characters seemed made for each other and the chemistry between them was insane. The quick shots of them going on dates, driving, and doing almost anything but just always looking happy, made it feel like they were destined to be together. The characters are so good for each other, always encouraging them to do what they want to, but meanwhile still trying to reason with them.

    Throughout the movie we get to know the character’s hopes, get to see their struggles, and enjoy their successes. One of Mia’s first scenes is her at an audition, putting everything into it, and then just being interrupted and asked to leave. She was putting everything into it and her being blown off immediately made me like her character. After she meets Sebastian, it doesn’t make her push back on her dream, but push it forward. He encourages her to have a one-woman show and she even decided to quit her job and pursue acting full time.

    Sebastian, from almost the beginning I could see how passionate he was about jazz. The minute Mia said she didn’t like jazz he immediately took her to his favorite jazz club and told her every reason that jazz was important, not only to him, but to the world. A few scenes later, Mia is seen dancing freely to jazz music and it’s clear that she found a love for it. When he joined a band that Mia knew he didn’t enjoy playing for she struggled with it. After she had quit her job and pursued her dreams because of him, she wanted him to pursue his too. She supported him quitting as long as he was happy. She just wanted both of them to be content doing what they wanted to do.

    Female lead, Emma Stone. Photo from WikiMedia.

    When Sebastian was going on tour with the band, the distance was clearly affecting Mia. It was obvious that something was going to happen, negatively, between them. Mia was working on her one-woman show and couldn’t just leave everything to be with him and seemed offended when he asked her to. Even from before, when the audience sees her at one of his shows where he's being blocked off from being seen on stage by dancers and she’s being pushed back by fans we can begin to see a disconnect. The moment he doesn’t show up to her play though, was the moment I knew they couldn’t get past that. It was heartbreaking, truly. That was something Mia invested everything into and him not showing up because of a photoshoot for the band wasn’t something Mia could easily forget, especially since he was definitely missed since he would have been one of maybe ten people in the audience. After this, Mia goes back to her hometown,ends it with Sebastian, and seriously considers leaving her dream behind.

    Shortly after this, when Sebastian gets a call from a producer that wants Mia to audition for a movie as the starring role because she had seen Mia’s one woman-show and actually goes to her I had hope that they would find their ways back to each other, especially since after the audition they tell each other that they’ll always love each other but now is not the time for them, especially with Mia leaving to Paris since she gets the role

    Cut to five years later and Mia has become the famous actress she had always dreamed of being. The viewer is obviously ecstatic for her while she’s on the set shooting where she was once just a barista. The mood then immediately shifts when Mia is shown kissing someone else and leaving their kid with a nanny. Seeing Mia had moved on  and now had a husband and child was a shock.

    Director Damien Chazelle. Photo From WikiMedia.

    When she proceeds to go on a date with her husband and accidentally discovers Sebastian’s bar, with the name that she had recommended for it, it broke my heart. When they saw each other, even though it was five years later, it seemed like their love was still there and hadn’t changed at all, although it clearly had.

    Sebastian plays a song that had made Mia interested in him in the first place and the movie cuts to a life where Sebastian would have never joined the band and they would have still been together. Seeing that clip of them having kids, still being in love, and being happy, all with the song that started everything playing in the background, made the audience yearn for that to happen. When it ended with someone else playing the piano instead of Sebastian and having Mia and Sebastian watching him, that’s when the ending made sense. Sebastian wasn’t supposed to be sitting watching someone else play the piano with Mia. He supposed be the one up there playing the piano in that bar which he owns. He wouldn’t have done with Mia. I’m glad that both of the characters got their happy endings, I just wish they wouldn’t have had to be separate to realize them.

    I had gone into La La Land with high expectations. So high I was actually expecting to be disappointed since usually when I see movies after seeing such high reviews the actual movie pales in comparison, but that wasn't the case with this movie. This movie not only met my expectations but went miles above it. I started the movie off with a smile on my face and ended it with tears in my eyes.

    The marvelousness of the film also had to a lot with the soundtrack. It’s landed on the Billboard 200 chart and is as of writing this article the #1 album on U.S iTunes.

    There wasn’t any point in the movie where I started daydreaming or dozed off, which wasn’t the case with me when I had seen Assassin's Creed and Passengers a couple weeks before. I was focused on  the screen the entire time. Not because something necessarily exciting was happening, but because of the music, because of the conversation, because of the way that everything that happened would seem like something I want to remember. Every single part of the movie was beautiful.

    Although I left in tears, I would watch La La Land a million times and to anyone who’s thinking about seeing it I would say to make time for it and go. You’ll leave the theater not only wanting to rewatch it but also with newfound love of jazz.

    La La Land poster featuring reviews. Photo from WikiMedia.

    About

    Ailin Toro Beltran is a sophomore at Malden High School and is returning to the Blue and Gold for her second year as staff. Beltran mainly joined the Blue and Gold due to her interest in writing. This year, she plans on specializing in local news. Some other hobbies within school that Beltran participates in include Key Club and Leadership and Mentorship Club. Outside of school, she likes to hang out with friends and watch movies. Her favorite genre of books are comedies and memoirs. Beltran also like to watch shows like Bob’s Burgers, Grey’s Anatomy, and Big Brother. She enjoys listening to pop music and her favorite music artist is Troye Sivan.

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