There was a time when movies were deemed magical by virtue of the stories and ideas they told. Movies like Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof were movies and productions that would excite, inspire and send people to a state of euphoria by the time the credits rolled. Over the past few years, with the growth and reach of Cinema, that magic has long gone, that euphoria, invoked by a few instances once in a while, now redundant.
Or so I thought before watching La La Land.
La La Land is Damien Chazelle’s third film and his most ambitious attempt to date. La La Land is his love letter to a bygone era of musicals, classic romance, old school cinema, human endurance and perseverance and Jazz. It has a simple premise starring Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a struggling Jazz player in LA trying to open his own Jazz club and Emma Stone as Mia, a barista who dreams of making it big in Hollywood as an actress. The story revolves around their struggle to succeed while being in love and is a story you have seen before countless times.
So why watch La La Land if the story isn’t unique?
The reason you should watch it is simple, it’s two hours of pure musical bliss.
From the very first scene in the crowded freeway, the film celebrates the whimsies of the bygone era of musicals with a fantastically choreographed number that celebrates the spirit of California. And it keeps getting better and better from there. The movie, at times, is over indulgent but makes it up with the lead actors and the beautiful Cinemascope shots of LA. The music is fantastic and goes to show Justin Hurwitz’s love for Jazz (He also worked on the music of Whiplash).
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are the Julia-Richard and Shahrukh-Kajol of this generation. There is a seamlessness to their chemistry that you can not just create out of nothing. Emma Stone lights up the screen everytime she is on and it’s a delight to watch her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins an academy award this year.
Not always do you get a movie like this so do not watch it on your laptop or TV. Find a theater near you and go experience the film on the biggest screen you can find. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.