The Vampire Diaries
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Reads 13
Total reads

Review of Begin Again
by Jeremy Thomas
Posted on June 7th, 2021
Positive 7
Overall Rating
many people have said that the best thing going in begin again is the music itself. others have pointed out the work of actors keira knightley, mark ruffalo, james corden, hailee steinfeld and adam levine as carrying the film. and make no mistake; these are all things that help to elevate the film. the actors are all good (yes, even levine) and the music from gregg alexander, nick lashley, glen hansard and a host of others is exceptional. but what really makes the return of once's john carney to the music-drama genre is its unconventional nature. the big studio version of this film, for example, would have turned it into a romantic triangle pitting ruffalo's dan and levine's dave against each other for knightley's chateuse to choose from in some sort of heavy-handed metaphor for choosing between the love of music and the love of stardom. instead carney's script goes a less-travelled result of making this a more natural-seeming story about music...or as the original title read, "can a song save your life?" there are some moments that don't hold up to the rest, to be sure. dan's dysfunctional family subplot seems rushed, the casting of cee-lo green as a rapper doesn't work nearly as well as levine's and the opening act is travels some overly familiar beats. but carney keeps things on course and makes a few surprise diversions from convention that play well. knightly and ruffalo have great chemistry as friends here and levine plays his role well for an untrained actor, making his character more complex than you might expect. this isn't as good as once to be sure, but begin again still hits enough of the right notes right through to the end.
Jeremy Thomas

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