Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, James Corden, CeeLo Green, Yasiin Bey, James Corden
Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent.
"These pearls are just... becoming increasingly more and more rare to me. - More string than pearls? - Yeah. You've got to travel over a lot more string to get to the pearls.This
moment film is a pearl, Gretta everybody."
After seeing the trailer, I was expecting a cheesy film, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sad, funny, and romantic, yet not falling into the clichéd sentimental genre, Begin Again is a wonderful, creative, quirky film about love for music.
John Carney wrote a really good script, that avoid most of the typical romantic comedy clichés. You genuinely don't know where it's going - I tried to guess, and I'm usually good at it, but this time I miserably failed. The story captured me from the start, and took me up and down, in a rollercoaster of emotions. What can I say about the ending? Just perfect. Not to mention the closing credits. The scenes that run in there complement the film. I wish all closing credits were this good.
The film shows how complicated it is to maintain a healthy relationship when one of the two is becoming a star. Also, shows how hard can be to an artist to stay faithful to his art.
The characters are all likeable and the leads are both relatable. It's a great relationship the one between Dan and Gretta, but the one that stuck with me is the reconnection of Dan to his daughter.
Being a film about music, the main character is music herself. Feelings are not explicit but are the songs performed around New York City to deliver the emotions. The music used is just wonderful, from the soundtrack to the original performances. The greatest moment? When Dan listens to Gretta perform for the first time, and in his head the voice and guitar grow into something much bigger.
Mark Ruffalo gives a charming performance as Dan Mulligan, and he is a real pleasure to watch. Keira Knightley delivers a moving and subtle performance as Gretta, and who knew she could sing so well? She doesn't have a powerful voice, but it perfectly suits the film's songs. There's great chemistry between the leads. Catherine Keener is great as always as Miriam, Ruffalo's wife, and Hailee Steinfeld is surprisingly good as Violet, Ruffalo's estranged daughter. Also, who knew Adam Levin could act? That was quite a performance.
Dan: That's what I love about music.
Dan: One of the most banal scenes is suddenly invested with so much meaning! All these banalities - They're suddenly turned into these... these beautiful, effervescent pearls. From Music.
Dan: You can tell a lot about a person by what's on their playlist.
Gretta: I know you can. That's what's worrying me.