Begin Again

Dan: “That’s what I love about music.”

Greta: “What?”

Dan: “One of the most banal scenes is suddenly invested with so much meaning! All these banalities – They suddenly turned into these… these beautiful effervescent pearls. From Music.”

That’s where the magic happens. Can a song save your life? I guess so and I believe the right song can be the start of something new…something beautiful, you just need to listen and it’ll change your life. Just like “A Step You Can’t Take Back” did for Greta portrayed by Keira Knightley. When she was singing her self-written song in a bar, a drunk record label executive sits nearby, listens and commits himself to record an album with her. An album that should change their lives.

“Begin Again” by John Carney is a musical comedy-drama and tells the story of Greta and Dan producing this album at live locations all across New York. Next to Keira Knightley, the main cast consists of the beloved Mark Ruffalo as Dan and Hailee Steinfeld as his daughter. Especially Mark Ruffalo is someone I always like to see on screen and who recently convinced me of his talent in the HBO Miniseries “I Know This Much Is True”. Also in the film is the English comedian, singer and actor James Corden who some of you might recognise from “The Late Late Show with James Corden”.

The music is produced by Gregg Alexander although most of the songs in the film are performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine, songs I really enjoyed and keep on hearing beyond the film. Even if there was no song that hit me like a car and doesn’t let me go, the songs feel good and make you wanna listen to more of Keira Knightley’s singing skills.

In addition to the main plot about recording the music album in New York, the film contains two side plots. Greta with her broken relationship with the songwriter Dave Kohl and Dan with his difficult marriage and his struggling to keep up with the changes in the music industry. Three stories tangled together in a film with a run time of only 99 minutes. It works. Not perfectly because the film can’t completely enthrall me like for example “A Star is Born” but enough to be called a beautiful film.

Do you have a song which changed your life?