Having waited to watch this in order to let the hype die down a bit – was the wait worth it?
There is absolutely no denying that this film is beautiful to look at, bursting with eye popping colour in every scene, Damien Chazelle has directed a film that is stylish to look at – but is that enough?
Well not exactly as the story doesn’t particularly wow, telling the audience nothing relatively new about following your dreams – with the help of someone to guide you along the way and I’m never entirely convinced about the relationship between Ryan Gosling as Seb and Emma Stone as Mia that feels slightly distant and hard to connect to.
However, the way in which the story unfolds is interesting, fast paced and highly energised that despite the time it takes to get into this uniquely styled musical by the end you do find yourself charmed and satisfied by it. Everything is so precise and proper that it never fully lets go and just have fun, but at the same time it has an elegance that is hard not to appreciate it.
While it is a dual story of Mia wanting to become an actress, the real element is the music and Seb’s dream of becoming a proper jazz musician that really takes centre stage. The gorgeous compositions created by Justin Hurwitz such as ‘Mia & Sebastian’s Theme’ and the ‘Epilogue’ for example are beautiful and do bring to mind a classic musical – a real love letter to the character’s love of music.
It is a bit of a shame then that the gruff and insensitive Sebastian is not a character that really suits being a love interest and Ryan Gosling doesn’t really give the character enough depth for the audience to understand Sebastian and his motivations. In contrast to this Emma Stone is delightful as the sweetly uncertain Mia, clearly downtrodden by the lack of luck in getting her big break. Stone is a ray of sunshine vocally and character wise – someone that everyone can relate to in one way or another.
La La Land is uplifting and exhilarating to an extent but it does feel as though it is lacking in emotional connection between the key characters at the centre of the story to be fully convincing. Definitely beautiful to look at and listen to but not enough characterisation to make it completely perfect.
La La Land is available to buy on DVD and Blu Ray through Amazon now.