May 27th, 2008


Amidst all the pre-summer blockbusters like Speed Racer, Indiana Jones, Narnia, etc etc, the missus and I decided to go catch an indie film instead:

Why? Cos I like music.

Once is a musical filmed on a shoe-string budget. But don't expect unrealistic dance scenes like in Hairspray or Moulin Rouge. Instead you have footage shot with camcorders, which only seem to highlight the gritty realness of the film.

Adding to this sense of reality are the leads, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who are real-life musicians; not professional actors. Thus, their performance is so natural you don't feel like you're watching actors on-screen but real people falling in love.

However, it is the music that really drives the film. By itself the natural chemistry between the leads and the realism provide enough to draw you in but the songs interspersed throughout the film are what truly involve you into the unfolding story.

Each song contains such emotion that it speaks volumes more than any dialogue between the leads can reveal. A particularly touching piece is the duet between the leads, Falling Slowly. You can't help but be moved by their performance of the song.

Bottomline: Once is an awesome movie. So go watch it, and get your hands on the soundtrack later.

An interesting aside: almost all the songs in the soundtrack are actually written and performed by Hansard and Irglová. Additionally, their on-screen chemistry blossomed into real life romance and they are currently dating.