Feb 21, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 35

My readers seem to enjoy submitting films that are somewhat outside the mainstream. While there's no such thing as a truly independent film that makes it on the shelves of a DVD outlet there are a few that can come close. Since I started asking readers for ideas for films to review I'm really amazed at the quality of movies I've sat through. Kudos to all of you, well except Greg for making me sit through that damn White Trash...errr...White Water Summer.

Scott submitted a true gem of a film entitled Once, an Irish musical shot on a seemingly low budget. The story follows a chance meeting between an unnamed street musician and a Czech girl who sells flowers to passersby’s. Lured by his music the girl befriends him quickly and through their getting to know each other process he finds that her musical talents are equal to his in a very touching scene where they collaborate on one of his songs.

His story is a simple one as he writes his music based on his pain of the memories of his ex-girlfriend. His newfound friend also has a past being a single mother in Ireland with her baby's father living in her homeland. Together they find simple happiness in the music they share and before long they make plans to form a band and record an album. Further driven by his quest to get the album produced he harbors some fantasies about taking it to London and maybe proving his worth to his ex as well as himself.

Yes the story is simple, but that's a strength rather than weakness. The film is shot mostly in handheld cameras, the actors are hardly debutants, and the makeup, sets, and other details are hardly polished, but that's the point. The movie works in its simplicity and realism, but yet it's never cynical which is all to rare in cinema nowadays. The plot is uplifting and has an ending that ends on, if you'll pardon the pun, the right note with a conclusion that you didn't see coming, but can't call it a twist. The characters are good, but somewhat flawed, just like you'd imagine them to be. Yes it's a musical, but it's hardly the stuff of song and dance Rogers and Hammerstein. This is as much a musical as Walk the Line was, but with more heart.

If you haven't figured it out that I highly recommend this then I failed as a writer. Thanks to Scott for submitting this.

Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"It deserves to be seen and offers more real human emotion than most of the year's would be box office busters." - James Berardenilli


Scott said...

So glad that you got the chance to review the movie. Glad that that you liked it though I assumed that you would.

Interesting side note, Glen Hansard who plays the male lead is the lead singer of the band The Frames. Great music, check out their tracks if you get the chance.



Miss Ash said...

It's like Scott and yourself are soulmates tee hee! Except that you get so drunk you throw up on the lawns of strangers and he doesn't really drink :P

Anonymous said...

Normally, I ask to have you review movies I really like. This time, I'm going to do something different. I'm going to ask you to review a film I haven't seen and based on your input, make my final decision about whether or not to see that film. That's right wiwille, I'm putting your opinions in the driver seat. The following is a small list of movies I have decided based on whatever reason, to not see. Please choose one.
- Amelie
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Requiem for a Dream
- Donnie Darko

Wiwille said...

Scott - I checked out some of his work. I like what I've heard so far.

Miss Ash - I'm sure there are many more differences between us. Although we both like a certain celebrity.

WIGSF - Funny is that I own two of those movies. I've added the others to my queue.

Rowie said...

Adding to the random sidenotes -

Glen is also in the film "The Commitments"

Glen and Marketa make up "Swell Season" and are amazing in concert if you ever get the chance...