Review: Begin Again (Disco Dan’s take)
Begin Again is an independently produced film that premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival. It stars Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly, and Adam Levine (yes, THAT Adam Levine from Maroon 5 and The Voice fame). It centers around the two main characters Ruffalo and Knightly and their struggles and serendipitous meeting which leads to them producing an album together. It was recommended to me highly by a person I trust very much. It interested me before the recommendation, but then the recommendation put it a lot higher on my list. It is likely that it is playing at a theater close to you as you read this.
Right off the bat, I have to say that the acting in this film was spectacular. This is my favorite performance from Mark Ruffalo (although he is a mighty fine Hulk) and the best performance from Ms. Knightly since Atonement. Their chemistry is great and they really put their hearts into their performances. The characters that they portray are very likable and easy to sympathize with. The always charming Hailee Steinfeld has a supporting role and she is as delightful as ever. Adam Levine also has a supporting role and surprisingly gives an excellent performance. And he does sing a fair share in the film, in case you were wondering about that.
There really isn’t a dull moment in this movie. Its pacing is pretty near perfect. The cinematography is pretty spectacular and so is the editing.
The Not So Good
One problem with the film was that I really didn’t care for Keira Knightly’s singing voice. The songs that she performs are well written, but her voice bothered me. This is because I’m a music snob and have significant vocal training which results in me having very particular tastes. I don’t think her voice will bother most people, however it did grate on me a little.
The other problem that I had was what it lacked. For me, it lacked an emotional climax; the ‘Spielberg Moment,’ if you will. In order for a film to be REALLY good in my eyes, it must have an emotionally fulfilling moment. The film wasn’t enjoyable enough without this for me to give it a perfect score.
Overall, this was a good film and one I recommend. It’s a great story with some great moments and some great music. If you have fairly particular tastes when it comes to vocals like I do, then I would probably wait to rent it. Otherwise, make a date night out of it!
The film has no sex, although it does have some innuendos and make-out scenes. There is no violence and nothing disturbing. The only reason it is rated R is because of the very adult language (50+ f-words).