Holding high expectations for a film can leave you feeling pretty deflated. So when Damian Chazelle's La La Land begun it was as if the cinema was smacked in the face with an over the top opening of High School musical with extra grated cheese and a song from Glee thrown on the top.
Suddenly, you find yourself watching a cocktail of modern day life with mobile phones and irritating ring tones muddled with the transportation of being taken back to 1950's Hollywood with choreographed Fred Astaire dance moves and old fashioned costume. It was a little confusing to say the least.
La La Land's vision and imagery may have been beautiful to watch but the change of era, even dipping into the 1980's at one point didn't make much sense. But just going with the flow and watching the characters develop was heart-warming, light hearted and intriguing. Not forgetting the passion for their careers grow, you couldn't help but warm to the two leads. Chazelle's ability to tell and show the audience what is so important in life was really wonderful to see. An inspiration for anyone to consume themselves in something they truly love. In this case, it was music.
The film focused on what Seb ( Ryan Gosling) truly believed in - playing real jazz that no one seemed to be interested in any more - including his love interest Mia ( Emma Stone ). Mia is an inspiring actress who soon realises you can't have the best of both worlds. Does she choose career or love?
La La Land as a musical has had rave reviews, surprising viewers with Ryan Goslings ability to sing, dance and play the piano in such a way you are left falling in love with his talents. Unfortunately the chemistry between Stone and Gosling was a lot to be desired.
The references from Chazelle's second film Whiplash added a clever touch. Jazz playing a huge role and talk on sax player Charlie Parker being included to the script made a cool connection to the two films. Even bringing in actor J.K Simmons who was clearly asked to play the same persona he portrayed during Whiplash was a fun surprise. He may have only had a few lines in La La Land, but his intimidating, hard faced character shone through leaving you smiling.
Prior to La La Land, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge being the last huge love story musical on film that everyone was talking about, you couldn't help but compare the two. Luhrmann's portrayal of true love in every film he has directed has literally blown the socks off of viewers over the years. Capturing moments of undeniable passion and heart wrenching scenes that La La Land couldn't live up to.
With Whiplash being one of the greatest endings to a movie, La La Land was one of the most frustrating. Of course, not telling of what's going to happen. But if you like colourful scenery, light comedy and a passion for believing in something, true and real, La La Land in a nut shell was a light airy cake but with disappointing bitter after tastes.