BEGIN AGAIN (2014)
Director: John Carney
Cast: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, James Corden, Adam Levine
Producer: Tobin Armbrust, Anthony Bregman
Screenplay: John Carney
Synopsis: 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.
This film has a tone that I think is very unquie and unpretentious, I imagine not very many people might agree but the way the film was shot I though was intricate and showed the characters thoughts and times very efficiently and unapologetically. There is also a romantic note to the story with the two main characters that was dealt so refinishing and honestly. Okay enough of my babbling on…
The story is about a once successful music producer who refuses to compromise his principals to conform to the modern approach to music the industry and executives have adopted. After staring a record label with a friend, Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is suddenly confronted with the reality of his artistic view of the music world, suddenly more business inclined than artistic, he is kicked out of the company having failed to sign a talent in a while, where he stumbles unto an musician Greta (Keira Knightley), a singer/songwriter who is reluctant to play her music. He tasks himself of convincing her to let him sign her, irrespective of the fact that had just moments ago had lost his job, and together they attempt to create music in a very unique and inspired fashion. With the help of Dan’s loyal connections, his daughter and Greta’s best friend James Corden they take of the feat.
The film has a sappy but realistic tone that John Carney the director and writer is more or less now known for, it reminds me somewhat of his other film Once, one of my favortiate films. Though I can appreciate this film on its own merits, I can’t help but compared it to John Carney’s Once and in that comparison Begin Again has no option but to fail. The film is in no way a sequel to Once but it does talk the same subjects matter in a very similar way.
Begin Again begins with a look at Greta played by Keira Knightly (who does an acceptable job of doing her own vocals), singing at an open bar about being invisible and the crowd does her words homage by ignoring her performance. Except for a middle aged grammy ward-winnger producer, Dan, who’s personal life and career is so abysmal, he had just moments ago contemplated suicide. In a bar full of ignorant patron’s Dan is the only one who hears Greta but not just hears her, he hears what she can become, he hears the potential she has.