Musical, Reviews

La La Land


Copyright © 2016 by Summit Entertainment

Pursuing a shot in Los Angeles, Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress works as a barista on the Warner Bros. lot while auditioning for minor roles in television shows. She chances on Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician making ends meet by playing Christmas carols & 1980s remixes and they both fall in love. When they both ascent to fame, their relationship is tested and it thrusts them into a melancholic decision.

After beguiling in the festival circuit, where it set a new record for the biggest haul in the Golden Globes and a record-tying 14 nominations in the Oscars, ‘La La Land’ is a deserving heir to ‘Whiplash’, Damien Chazelle’s knockout which awarded J. K. Simmons his first Academy win. The flub in last week’s oldest awards ceremony does not ebb its allure one bit and the film’s magic stems from its atmospheric adoration to classic Hollywood.

As a valentine to movie musicals of yesteryear, the opening dance number set in a traffic jam and a joke reworked from ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, ‘La La Land’ is a colourful throwback to nostalgia that is impossible to resist. It is a pastiche of references from flighty career opportunities (‘A Star Is Born’) to the faux Paris dance finale (‘An American In Paris’) and bittersweet reunion (‘Casablanca’).

Even if the musical seems more eager to amalgamate a vanished Tinseltown era than finding its own original voice, Chazelle’s intentions shines clearly; applying happiness and fantasy to his themes, he has created gorgeous and dreamy vignettes dressed in an air of romanticism, set against the backdrop of a contemporary life in Los Angeles.

The cinematography by Linus Sandgren is nothing short of heavenly, encompassing a reservoir of riches in L.A. that ensnares the glimmering skies of Griffith Observatory, the aesthetic divinity of Watts Towers and the iconic Colorado Street Bridge. Pepping in every scene is the red-hot connection between Gosling and Stone whose vigor will indubitably whisk you away from the humdrums of reality for two hours in believing these two crazy idealists.

Entirety: A
Acting: A
Plot: A-

Rated PG-13 for some language


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