BEGIN AGAIN – REVIEW
By: Zilungile Mnisi
Director: John Carney
Starring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Mos Def, Catherine Keener
Director John Carney’s Begin Again is a likeable romance between two people and music.
Down-and-out Dan (Mark Ruffalo), who has separated from his wife (Catherine Keener) and his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), listens to Gretta (Keira Knightley) singing in a pub and sees potential in her. All he needs is the backing of a label to promote her, which is not forthcoming. Gretta is all set to return to England after her newly famous rock star boyfriend betrayed their relationship.
She’s not ready to begin a career of her own in New York, but Dan’s ideas interest her.
So he comes up with a clever idea – they will record the album all around New York including in back alleys, subway stations and building terraces. Here you get to see the process of creation as Dan and
Gretta go about making music with the help of a diverse band of musicians. The process not only brings the two together, it also solves the distance between Dan and his estranged wife and daughter. To the audience used to lovers walking in the sunset holding hands, this movie offers an unlikely but deeper climax
For me, the movie’s best moments come when music and New York are united together. Whether the lead pair is making music on the streets or dancing in the night, one still gets to understand the writer’s objective. More than the music featured in the movie, it is the process of its creation that captures you.
Begin Again has an enduring belief in the power of music to change lives. There’s something exciting about that, even if it isn’t the most original of thoughts.
If you love music and slow, laid back romances, then this movie is worth your time.