There are, every now and then, films that are so anticipated that people somehow feel like they’ve already seen them even if they haven’t. In the digital era, everyone has access to a wealth of excerpts from most upcoming movies, and most people rarely go see a film without having watched its trailer before. This can create incredibly high expectations, which often lead to a certain amount of disappointment.
With “La La Land”, however, this is not the case. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s chemistry lives up to the high standards portrayed in the trailer. The audience is overwhelmed by the vibrant cinematography, the catchy melodies, and the gripping rhythm of the drums. The story is less simple than what it seems, and the ending is as unconventional as Hollywood films can get.
The rhythm of “La La Land” mimics the act of falling in love: at first we’re ecstatic and everything moves very fast, only to get incredibly slow when trouble starts to arise. Once the relationship is over, the only way to go back to that initial frenzy is by imagining it, and to then face reality with a more mature and less nostalgic perspective. Thus, “La La Land”, no matter how shallow and trivial it may seem at first, is actually one of the most detailed and accurately planned movies Hollywood cinema has produced in the past few years.
That being said, “La La Land” – although a mainstream blockbuster – is certainly not for everyone: musical theatre enthusiasts will find its songs too jazzy and too “average”, those nostalgic of classic Hollywood musicals will find it too serious, rom-com lovers will see the ending as too frustrating, and narrow-minded intellectuals will see it as childish and unrealistic.
Nonetheless, if one is open-minded enough to accept a new take on the musical genre, then “La La Land” really is the masterpiece it wants to be. After all, nothing bad could come out of the mind who put together a pleasingly daunting beast such as “Whiplash”. Damien Chezelle has certainly started on the right foot, and hopefully he’ll be able to raise the bar even higher with his future films.