Damien Chazelle has movie wackadoodles, music lovers, and romantics all mustered in a tuneful frenzy over hit film La La Land. For those who haven’t seen it yet, you’re probably wondering why everyone’s so taken by the film. Fair warning, from this point forward, some will consider what is to be mentioned in this article as a spoiler, so you have been warned.
The story itself and aspects of how it was told is done with aesthetic beauty and a classic musical feel that just absorbs the audience. Not to mention the charm between co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is straight up intoxicating. As Chazelle said it “I became very interested in this idea of [using] color and music and sets and costumes, these expressionistic elements of old school movie-making… but in updated in a way that felt modern.”.
The root of La La Land’’s pop culture take over, I believe, comes from two things. One being the relatable, exciting emotions we feel when we’re in love as well as being driven by a passion. The second however would be, the blatant and not-so-idealistic matters of the story (though it brings a fresh take to the genre of musicals), is what also makes the film both engrossing and raw to the point it is relevant for academy award-winning contention.
My takeaway from the cinematic experience however, goes further as to how the masterful Chazelle tells the story. Myself being a huge fan of the cinema and avid listener to broad genres of music, I was blown away with how the story was told mostly through music and montage. Rather than telling a love story through corny, predictable cinematic cliché’s, Chazelle used songs for the exposition of the story; Someone in the Crowd referring to a special someone that could bloom your career, the Planetarium montage that visualises a magical feeling of falling in love, The Fools Who Dream which single-handedly described the character of Mia’s aunt in one song, and at the same time touchingly entails the importance of artists who follow their dreams.
On that note, I urge you all to definitely watch the film, and if you’ve already seen it, watch it a couple times more. Here’s the list of the films that may not be as great as La La Land, but definitely fit the bill for an absorbing watch or a similar vibe.
1. 500 Days of Summer
2. Sing Street
3. Mama Mia!
5. Singing in the Rain
6. Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind
7. 50 First Dates
8. Moonrise Kingdom