Monday, 30 June 2008
Watching Once felt like a breath of fresh air for the simple reason that I didn’t have to be immersed in complex character studies, disturbing plot developments, and cynical humour in the quest for watching a good movie. A serendipitous and heart-warming tale of two gentle, lovelorn individuals and how they affect each other’s lives profoundly – he is a talented Irish songwriter who composes pieces of love and loss but never dreams beyond playing on the pavements of Dublin; she is a Czech immigrant who sells flowers and plays the piano during lunch time at a music shop because she can’t afford to buy one – the documentary-style musical is a charming piece of work. Devoid of any artsy pretentiousness and made on a shoe-string budget, Once strikes a chord (make that C Sharp) because of its simple, heart-felt portrayal of human emotions and of course, some truly well-composed songs. Given the storyline, it was tailor made for a dark, acid tale of self-destruction, or for that matter, a maudlin tear-jerker and sappy melodrama; hence the simplicity, understated humanity and the platonic friendship contained herein, but ripped off any overt sentimentalism or bitterness, is all the more touching, and I must add, appreciable.
Director: John Carney
Genre: Musical Drama/Romantic Drama