Sunday, September 6, 2009

MovieRave/AlbumRave; Once

When I rented 'Let The Right One In' I rented another movie as well, an Irish 'musical' called 'Once'. I've been wanting to see this movie since it came out in 2007, but held off for one reason; my favourite song of all time 'Falling Slowly' is from this movie. I first heard this sing performed at the 2007 Oscars, and it made me cry (though I discreetly wiped my tears away so that my mom and sister wouldn't make fun of me). It was haunting. It was painful. But above all, it was beautiful. I was afraid that the movie would be lackluster, and that every time I heard 'Falling Slowly' I'd think of that lame movie I had to sit through.

Not the case.

'Once' is not the typical musical; while the char actors occasionally sing, they sing for good reasons, ie. they're alone, they're performing, or (spoiler) they're recording.
The movie takes place in Dublin, where a poor Irish street musician meets a young Czech immigrant. Basically they develop a friendship, but previous relationships stop them from dating, even though they're falling in love.
That's as far as I'll go with the plot, since anymore would spoil it.

The tag line of the movie is "How often do you meet the right person?" with the movie's title, 'Once', written underneath. I don't think that needs any more explanation.
The underlying message of the movie asks the question of what we, people in the modern day, do when confronted with love. If it doesn't work with our plans, if it isn't convenient, will we still follow it? Or is true love only true love when it's convenient?
Can we possibly miss our true love because we were too busy to notice?

Because it's an Irish movie, there are few, if no Hollywood clichés. One of the things I absolutely loved about the film was the names of the two main characters. They're never spoken throughout the film, and listed in the credits as 'Guy' and 'Girl'.

I watched this movie with three of my friends originally, not paying attention. A couple days later I decided to watch it by myself late one night, and it brought me to tears. Now, I will note that it isn't a feat of any movie to make me cry, I'm kind of a pussy in that respect, but I honestly connected emotionally with both of the main characters.

If anyone is looking for a powerful modern film without the typical Hollywood makeover, I recommend 'Once'. This movie pertains to anybody who is caught up within their responsibilities and their view of what 'should' be.
So basically, all of us.

One of the reasons 'Once' succeeds and is basically awesome is because of the soundtrack. The day after I watched the movie for the second time, I downloaded the soundtrack. That night I listened to the entire thing, and I don't remember the last time I had such an emotional response to an album.
All the songs are sung and composed by the 'actors' in the film Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (they're actually musicians, not actors, though you wouldn't know it in the film).

As I said before, my favourite song of all time is 'Falling Slowly'. In one of the first scenes of the movie, Guy and Girl sing this song with only a guitar and a piano and it is the most powerful scene in the movie. Naturally, I had goosebumps when I watched this with my friends, but the other three stopped what they were doing to watch, and they commented on their goosebumps. It full on deserved the Oscar it won for Best Song.

While most songs are in the same vein as 'Falling Slowly', 'You Must Have Fallen From The Sky' is a bit more poppy and uptempo, and kind of sounds like the recent wave of powerpop.
Glen Hansard's voice is amazing. Period. He's not the most attractive man in the world, but after watching the film and listening to this album, damn. I dare you to watch him sing and not be attracted to that. I dare you. The last half of 'Say It To Me Now'? Um, yes.

While some people may find this album 'boring', I loved it. It is just beautiful, melodic, relaxing, yet heartbreaking.
'Once' defiantly did not ruin 'Falling Slowly' for me.
If anything, it's made me love my all time favourite song more, because I now know the love story behind it.
'Falling Slowly', 'If You Want Me', 'Fallen From The Sky', 'Leave', 'Say It To Me Now'

"You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself,
It's time that you won."


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