My rating: 4 1/2 reels out of 5
A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.
Going into this movie, I knew who directed and starred in it and that was enough for me to want to see it. Begin Again was directed by John Carney, who directed the modern day musical Once, a movie which contains one of my all-time favorite scenes in movie history. Begin Again has Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, one of my favorite actresses and actors. I wanted to watch it earlier but my friend thought it sounded like a romantic comedy (would’ve taken our bro-date to another level I suppose, haha). We went to another movie instead and I saw Begin Again later in the week. My friend’s suspicions were true, it was a romantic comedy but it’s not the conventional kind. Between Carney’s Once and Begin Again, the two movies contain themes of second chances, romance, and the bond of friendship. Begin Again is a wonderfully delightful movie that brought nothing but a smile to my face.
Just like Once, Carney incorporates music into Begin Again. Unlike Once though, it doesn’t play like a musical, it’s more like a regular film with music in it. To prepare for her role, Keira Knightley learned to play guitar and sing. Playing the rockstar that dumps her is Maroon 5 singer, Adam Levine. I honestly didn’t who Levine was until this movie. He has a high singing voice which I’m not a fan of but he played his role well. To round out the musical cast, we also have Mos Def, playing a music executive, and CeeLo Green, playing a musician named Troublegum. Playing the disgraced music-business executive is Mark Ruffalo. As daughter and wife of Mark Ruffalo’s character, we have oscar nominees, Hailee Steinfeld and Catherine Keener. Even though the music doesn’t quite stick with you, it is great. Aesthetically pleasing and fits the overall mood of the movie superbly. Great moments that you’ve never seen before. Music is a character itself in this movie but the soul of this movie is the relationship between the main characters, Gretta (Knightley) and Dan (Ruffalo).
Playing around with flashbacks, the first act of our story is admirably edited, it builds the backstory of Gretta and Dan before they first meet. Lost souls who manage to find each other. You may reach a point in your life where everything seems hopeless. You may reach a point in your life where you have no idea what direction to go. The people around you can help you through the darkest of times. Sometimes it’s a person you’ve known your whole life or it could be a complete stranger. Begin Again is about second chances. It’s about the passions that can bring us together, such as music. It’s about a friendship that can change your life. You can probably guess how the story will go in this movie but it just may surprise you. I hope Begin Again can make you smile like it did for me.
My expectations: I was expecting a funny and an inspiring film. It’s what I got and more. Expectations exceeded.
Re-watch value: I can easily watch this movie again.
Recommendation: I can recommend this film to most anyone.
Memorable: Great memories created with this movie.