PHOTO BY SYCAMORE PICTURES
Where is it playing?: Fair Oaks, Downtown Centre
What's it rated?: R
What's it worth?: $8.00
Writer-director John Carney (Once) helms this story about a washed-up music executive (Mark Ruffalo) who has a chance at redemption when he meets a budding singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) in Manhattan where the two begin a collaboration.
As I walked into the theater to watch Begin Again, I was very hesitant. I didn’t know what to expect. When I saw the posters and trailers, I formed an image in my head of just another mainstream drama/comedy mix. I was also going to watch this movie alone because none of my friends could or wanted to go. But they should have come.
The movie was not at all what I expected. It was actually quite touching. I began my viewing experience in a bad mood, because in my mind I figured it was going to be a huge disappointment, and here I was watching it by myself. How much more lame could it get? The movie shocked me. It had a certain feel to it that hooked me from the beginning. I was completely immersed in the story. For some movies, I find myself distracted by my phone, but this movie distracted me from my phone.
I have to give a lot of credit to the actors. Mark Ruffalo is magnificent as usual, and his character makes you feel so much emotion. Then you add Keira Knightley, who completes it. The relationship between those two creates the experience that is this movie. The music throughout the film (because believe me, there is a lot) is all wondrous. And the bond you find in the music they play together really makes the movie unique. The relationship isn’t summed up in words; it’s summed up in notes. The emotion comes out with the music. Whenever you hear the main characters playing music, it grabs hold of your attention and touches you in some way. It nearly left me in tears at some parts, and I’m not afraid to admit that.
These comedy/dramas, in my opinion, tend to be pretty bad and played out. Do not fear: This movie is not one of those. It can strike a few clichés here and there, but overall, I wasn’t worried about it because I was so engrossed in the story—which, by the way, is creative, brilliant, and can’t be found in other movies, as far as I know. This movie is all its own. It is a masterpiece. The reason I know it’s good is because after I walked out of the theater alone, I had a smile on my face and was completely fine with the fact that I had seen it alone. As I stated earlier, it’s a movie that puts you in its world. Go see it as soon as possible. (104 min.)
—Legend Mairs; New Times contributor