Begin Again (2014): You’re Only as Strong as Your Next Move

Posted: March 6, 2015 in Drama, Music

begin_againAfter both suffering major personal defeats on the same day, destiny finds Gretta and Dan in the same bar that night. While Dan is getting drunk in his sorrows, Gretta is forced to perform on-stage by her friend, Steve. Feeling like he just woke up for the first time in years, Dan approaches Gretta after her performance to convince her that she should get representation and become a star. While she is hesitant at first, Dan’s openness and honesty seems to wear her down. She agrees to jump on convincing his former record label to listen to her sound, but they refuse to put the resources behind her to get a fully produced sound without a full demo. Gretta and Dan decide to take a risk and produce a full album themselves, using the cityscape of New York as their studio and revive both of their careers and lives.

Review: This story told through its music was one that was easy to fall in love with surprising performances from Mark Ruffalo (Dan), Keira Knightley (Gretta), and Adam Levine (Dave). While Levine was the known musical talent entering into the film, Knightley proved that she has some real talent behind her voice as well. The dynamic between these three characters expressed the gamut of emotions of relationships and independence, as each character grapples with their own strength (or lack thereof). Even though they were limited, Haliee Seinfeld (Violet) and James Corden (Steve) had brief moments to shine.

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For Dan, his problems seemed to stem from being cheated upon and then losing his motivation and love of music. Having the chance encounter with Gretta knocked some sense back into him and made him see beyond the commercialized music he had grown to hate. Gretta entered their partnership from another, yet similar angle. She was cheated upon by Dave, but she never imagined that she would be headlining a music project. As their album came together, sparks burst for both of them, remembering why they loved music and what they wanted out of their lives. Even though Dave made a play to get Gretta back, she was sure of who she was and what she wanted for her career.

The scene at the very end of the film was a nice extra touch, as it provided a small sample of where the story progressed from that point. Solid individual performances and music that was easy to fall in love with make this a very enjoyable experience.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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