I watched La La Land for the second time this week, and for the second time, I was left breathless and sobbing by the end of the film. It stabbed me right in the heart.
I’m not gonna write a review here (okay, a quick one, I LOVED it). But let’s talk about dreams.
How many of us have this big dreams, dreams that we have to put aside for a while because they don’t pay that much money while we have bills to pay? I’m sure everyone has that kind of dreams. Dreams that feel like maybe they’re too big for us, that no matter how hard we try, it will knock us down, leaving us feeling that we’re not good enough, and it will forever stay as dreams. Like Mia frustratedly says,
Maybe I’m not good enough! Maybe I’m not! It’s like a pipe dream.
Maybe we slowly and eventually forget those dreams. Or maybe we’ve completely given up, feeling tired and crushed, and also foolish for dreaming such a thing all this time.
I have those dreams too. Dreams that were once sizzling hot, then slowly flicker away. I almost forgot them, until this movie.
And what a story. Not just the movie, but the struggle Damien Chazelle (the director and writer) had to go through to make this. He wrote it in 2010, but found nobody was willing to be the producer. It was deemed too risky to make a musical film with long shots (like they did in the old musicals) the way he wanted it, with the main character who loves jazz, the less popular kind of music. So Chazelle kept it away for a while, went with Whiplash, then continued with this dream after he became more well-known after Whiplash. But it didn’t end there, as the first producers wanted to change a few things to make it fit into the Hollywood types. The deal was off, and Chazelle tried (again) to find other producers who wanted to take his ideas, his dreams, as they were. And after 6 years, here’s La La Land that got recognitions, won many awards, and touches people because it’s relatable.
And the ending? Wow.
I know that feeling of playing what-if in your head. I know that feeling of playing the clips of what could have been, the endless wondering of things that could have happened had you chosen another road. There will always be things that are left unsaid, questions are that left unanswered, and emotions that need to be played down. There’s a pain of not knowing things but having to let them go, because you have to move forward. And so you just smile, give a nod to the past, and move on.
I know those feeling very well. A little too well maybe.
Ah, La La Land. So much I could say about this movie, but I’ll sum it up for you.
La La Land reminds me of long forgotten dreams, weary hearts, the road I didn’t take, and what could have been. It also reminds me that you can’t have everything you want in life.
And that what makes this movie perfectly imperfect.