Tag: review

Review: Massive Attack – Mezzanine XXI @ the 02

Mezzanine-XX1-

On Friday I wrote about why I consider Mezzanine to be one of the greatest albums made in my lifetime. In addition, Massive Attack are a truly great live band; one who I’ve seen on over a half dozen occasions and who have never failed to transport me to a magical place with their live music.

For the Mezzanine XXI show, the band said in advance that this would be a re-imagining of the album, with group member Robert Del Naja describing it as a “one off piece of work; our own personalised nostalgia nightmare head trip”. In addition, the band once again collaborated with Adam Curtis, with Curtis compiling the stark visuals for the show. In advance of the tour, he said of the visuals:

“The show tells the story of the strange journey we have all been on over the past twenty years since ‘Mezzanine’ was released: How we have moved into a strange backward-looking world, enclosed by machines that read our data and predict our every move, haunted by ghosts from the past. A pleasure dome that makes us feel safe from the endless wars outside, and plays back stories both of dreams of glory and the fear of others. But in that safe world suspicion and distrust is spreading — like a virus. The air is growing stale. Everyone sees conspiracies everywhere. But maybe suspicion is control?”

The band took to the stage at 2115 and it’d be fair to say there were a few external factors that weren’t in their favour. I’ve already blogged about how the venue right royally fucked up, but in addition two factors played out that did not help the gig at all.  An awful lot of the audience didn’t seem particularly interested in the gig; the audible chatting levels really hindered the experience for many, the Penguin included [I took two particularly loud girls chatting behind me to town with language that was somewhat fruity]. But the chatting was even more noticeable because the sound levels for the first five tracks was appallingly low.

The set started with a wall of guitar noise and a cover of the Velvet Underground’s I Found a Reason, a song sampled on Mezzanine track Risington, establishing both the raw, punky edge the night’s proceedings would have and also flagging up that this would be no ordinary Massive Attack gig. The band then went on to play Risington itself, which baffled plenty who expected the album to be played in its entirety from start to finish. Unfortunately the sound issues meant it fell flat; there was little applause or delight at the end.

The same process – of playing a sampled rock song featured on Mezzanine followed by the album version – was repeated next, with a lively and impressive version of The Cure’s 1015 Saturday Night followed by a disappointing rendition of Man Next Door, as Horace Andy’s vocals sounded flat and the incredible atmosphere of the original failed to migrate into the arena.

Black Milk was the last of the five songs to be played at such a low level of volume that they could barely reach the Penguin’s ears. But the cheer that erupted for Elizabeth Fraser’s first appearance on stage was certainly loud enough; the levels of affection pouring from the audience showed that she’s still held in the highest regard by music fans.

It was the title track, Mezzanine, when this gig really got going. The volume was cranked up, and it was the first of several tracks to receive an extended outro – with heavy guitars – that got the heart beating faster. It was a fantastic rendition and one of the best moments of the evening. An excellent cover – Baugaus’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead – followed, and whilst the original track was unknown to this penguin, it was noticeable from several members of the crowd that this was a very popular song to include.

The band were masked in darkness at the backstage, and never addressed the crowd. Leaving the talking to the music and visuals, it felt strange for them to not even acknowledge the reason we were all there, or to give a skeleton of an idea for how – and why – the show had come together. The band seemed almost awkward about a nostalgia tour – perhaps because of how difficult it was to record the original album, or perhaps because they fear that by looking back they’re somehow undermining their own musical future – but the visuals seemed to indicate that the real point of this show was to use Mezzanine’s appeal as a pretence for speaking about the world we experience in the here and now.

The visuals across five huge screens – spanning the entire stage – were pointed and intentionally provocative. At times harrowing, others comical, the general theme seemed to be that the world has become increasingly bizarre and nasty since 1998, and maybe we should reconsider our approach. There was a heavy emphasis on data and its misuse; Tony Blair and Saddam Hussein made regular appearances, as did children’s toys. Putin and – in particular – Donald Trump perhaps deserve special credits given their number of appearances. The latter’s face was transplanted onto a number of other celebrities, including Britney Spears in her school uniform in her debut video Baby One More Time. Disturbing doesn’t even begin to cover my reaction to that.

Various scenes of war, the destruction it causes and the grieving family members of victims were all shown. In addition, we were treated to a selection of political slogans ‘Brexit Means Brexit’, ‘Stronger, Closer Union’ amongst the most notable, alongside some of Massive Attack’s own messages, including ‘There are no enemies’. The difficulty with these type of visuals is – ironically – they’re so common place in live music experiences [see any Muse or U2 concert for example] that they had little impact, other than perhaps to lessen the connection the audience has with the band. The slogans in particular felt so obvious as to be passé; more A level art project than pioneering political point. In trying to elevate their show into a call to arms, they ended up cheapening the music that brought the fans to the arena in the first place. It’s also a little ironic – as several people pointed out on Twitter – to rail against capitalism and materialism when playing the O2 arena and selling your t-shirts for £30 a pop.

The second half of the set featured some impressive performances. A faster version of Horace Andy’s own track See a Man’s Face was an absolute reggae delight, and Andy also fronted a superb rendition of Angel. Live favourite Inertia Creeps suffered from sound problems – as did all of the tracks featuring 3D’s rapping – as you could barely hear the vocals. The opening notes of Teardrop saw a notable wave of excitement surge through the audience, and the visuals on the screen dropped to simply leave swirling white lights. It was a heavenly moment – the rarest of moments on this night when audience and the band united – and all of the O2 basked in Fraser’s peerless vocals.

The show closed with the operatic Group Four, which musically wowed but vocally struggled as again 3D’s voice barely left the stage. Fraser certainly shone, but it felt like an abrupt way to finish proceedings. The band walked off, and as people prepared a mental list of possible encores, the house lights sprung up.

What you’ll make of this gig will depend largely on your tolerance. Could you cope with the sound issues? Could you appreciate the harsh visuals? Do you mind the band not addressing the audience? I’ve seen Massive Attack enough times to know they’re better than this, but also that this was as much a statement of their art and opinions as it was their music. Certainly the brief snippet of an Avicii cover towards the end indicates that the band have a sense of humour and wanted you to see that this wasn’t meant to be a fluffy experience.

But ultimately this tour was about celebrating an album of tremendous importance to many people, and instead this tour was hijacked for other purposes. Sure we got the songs – albeit in a random order – the samples and the original vocalists, and we got some enhancements with the rocky outros, but we also lost a lot of the feeling that made the album so special. it’s an album of paranoia, isolation and darkness, and it didn’t translate particularly well to huge LED screens and propaganda. There were moments of genius, but there was also a steady flow of people leaving from about the halfway point. All in all, it was disappointing.

5/10

Album Review: Red Rum Club – Matador

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Red Rum Club – Matador 

Have you ever wondered what it’d sound like if the Coral soundtracked a western? Well wonder no more, because Scouse sextet Red Rum Club  (I assumed they’re named after the Grand National winning horse of the 70s, either that or they’re guzzling some weird cocktails) have brought together a collection of indie pop songs that’ll satisfy your curiosity with their debut album.

Matador is a relentlessly fun album that – at a pithy 31 minutes – never outstays it’s welcome. Encompassing a Mariachi sound through its almost ever present trumpets, it’s full of fun and toe-tapping songs. The album comes galloping – quite literally – out of the gates with Angeline, an instantly catchy and fun track that instantly sets the tone for what is to come.

It’s almost impossible to write a review of a band from Liverpool without referencing the proud pop heritage of the city, and throughout Matador there are homages to their predecessors. You can certainly hear the Coral (Honey, but many others as well) and the La’s (TV Said So) and there’s hits on here – perhaps most notably Would You Rather Be Lonely?) that a certain Fab Four would be proud of. But the joy of Matador is that they’re taking the past – with all its familiarity – and giving it a new and playful twist.

The songs are catchy, the trumpet elevates everything and if this is as good live as it is on record then they’re a ‘must not miss’ for the summer festivals. My personal favourite is probably Nobody Gets Out Alive – which feels like a proper western showdown with its ominous bass and dramatic trumpeting – but there are few bad moments here.

Matador is not a lyrically or musically complex album. It probably won’t win any fans at Pitchfork. But sometimes you just need music to be fun, where you can sing and dance along. This is an album that has that in spades.

7.5/10

Track of the Day: Daniel Trakell – Paradise

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Daniel Trakell – Paradise

Australian singer-songwriter Daniel Trakell is releasing his debut EP this month, and Paradise is the third single from that EP. It’s one of those tracks that you really need to give a few listens to.

Paradise falls somewhere on the country music/folk border, perhaps slightly inland on the latter. Underpinned by acoustic guitar with room for some slide guitar and horns, the Paradise it conjures up is one of hills and vast landscapes.

Yet it’s a slightly uncomfortable feeling listening to Paradise, for all it’s Simon & Garfunkel splendour, there remains an apprehension. It is perhaps best described using the impressive dual quality of the vocals, they are both beautiful and eerie at the same time. The song is both speaking of a paradise that is tangible and truly beautiful in the present, but also of a place that has yet to come in the afterlife. As he sings:

While I dream 
I dream of when the days of holding back 
And all this talk can cease 
Oh I dream 
About a place where time it goes to rest 
And we can be at peace 

You can follow Daniel here. Let me know what you think of Paradise (astralpenguinsmusic@gmail.com)

 

At the Movies: Hidden Figures

At the Movies: Hidden Figures

For me, the anomaly at this year’s Oscars was Hidden Figures, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterley: Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women who Helped to Win the Space Race. The film tells the true story of three African American women, Katherine G. Johnson, (Taraji P. Henson) Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) who played a vital role in NASA’s space launch in 1962.

The film’s title, ‘Hidden Figures’ refers to the ‘hidden’ algorithms that Katherine, uncovers, the fact that the women’s achievements were ‘hidden’ and the way in which NASA’s black women were physically ‘hidden’, sequestered in the segregated West Area Computers’ division of Langley Research Centre. But unfortunately, the movie has refused to live up to its title: it has unequivocally not ‘hidden’. It has been impossible to avoid…

And, to make matters worse, it has taken more in Box Office receipts than all of the Oscar Contenders (including La La Land!)

But I don’t want to be completely acrimonious about Hidden Figures because it isn’t all bad! It takes place in Virginia amidst the Jim Crow laws and it plays an important role in shining a light on these three women’s achievements, which might have otherwise gone un-noticed. It is also to the film’s credit that it features a leading trio of black women, aiding in the insurgency against last year’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign.

However, the film itself is anything but an insurgent: it is utterly predictable and riddled with clichés. It begins with an unimaginatively sepia toned flashback sequence in which Katherine’s parents are urged to accept her scholarship to a prestigious school that she would otherwise be unable to afford. This film sits firmly in the ‘inspirational-feel-good’ movie category, complete with a smattering of schmaltzy speeches. The film reaches a particularly low moment when Kevin Costner brandishes his ultimate one liner: ‘In NASA, everyone pees the same colour!’…

But even the cheesiest of speeches can be moving if they are well directed! (Because I’ve just realized that this must be one of the cheesiest speeches from my second favourite movie as a kid. And its fantastic.) But there was hardly anything cinematically interesting about Hidden Figures. And I found myself pretty bored in the cinema…

The film absolutely insists on hammering home its moral messages, resulting in moments that could have been poignant or enlightening, quickly becoming stale and predictable. Segregation rules dictate that Katherine must travel a mile each time she wants to use the bathroom because in her building, the toilets are for ‘whites only’. The first time we see the scene in which Katherine runs to the bathroom with all her papers, balancing precariously on her heels, we sympathize with her and the ridiculousness of the situation. However, after this moment was repeated again and again and again, accompanied each time by a cheery soundtrack (courtesy of Pharrell Williams) I found myself becoming increasingly exasperated with the unoriginality and repetitiveness of the movie rather than the ludicrousness of Katherine’s situation! And throughout the film, I felt as though the audience were completely patronized- every plot point, every moment of conflict or reconciliation was practically spelled out for us- there was no subtlety- it was as though the film makers had completely under-estimated the intelligence of their audience- which is quite insulting…

Hidden Figures Day 41

I also found the final dramatic dénouement totally devoid of tension despite the film -makers’ best efforts to make it exciting. And it actually started became quite a satisfying cinema activity to try and predict what was going to happen next in the film!

However, the thing I really disliked about Hidden Figures was that it seemed purely tokenistic. I felt that the film focused disproportionately on race and gender, which, for me, detracted from the women’s actual achievements: it was almost patronizing to view their contributions purely through this lens rather than to laud their accomplishments for NASA and the Space Race as commendable in and of themselves.

I recently saw the film Loving, which I felt dealt with racial discrimination and prejudice in more powerful manner. The film tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving who are banned from their home of Virginia because they are interracially married. Rather than placing race at the forefront of the story, the film focuses on their relationship. This gives the audience the opportunity to truly care about these two characters as a couple, rather than simply as victims of racial discrimination. For me, this made the discriminations all the more shocking as they were happening to a real couple that I felt I was getting to know.

I think that Hidden Figures could have been a better film if it had had focused more on its heroines’ passions and ambitions. Perhaps if I understood why they were so excited about solving this particular problem, I might have cared more about them as individuals.

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Despite all my complaints about the film, it does attempt to inspire its audience, which has to be lauded. It tells us that we have the ability to take control of our own lives and don’t have to be dictated to by norms or conventions. Each of the women are able to assert control the moment they decide to be proactive. As soon as Katherine explains how far she has to walk to use the coloured bathrooms, her boss abolishes the segregation rules. When Mary takes her plea to pursue an engineering degree to court, she is successful. And Dorothy, upon seeing the threat of automation on her job from IBM 7090, decides to re-skill (quite timely) and is consequently promoted. I suppose I quite liked Hidden Figures’ melioristic message-that the world definitely can be made better by human action..!

And finally, when the question, ‘Could Hidden Figures encourage more black women to pursue a career in science?’ was posed to a group of black female A-level students, medics and PhD science graduates, responses included, ‘These ladies were unheard of and they are inspirational role models to us. They are glamorous and pretty but they feature in a film because of their intelligence … They make science exciting, a cool thing to do.’ And so, I’ll admit that although I found the film dull, predictable, patronising uninspiring and quite annoying, clearly, not every one did. And perhaps some things are more important than whether or not I enjoyed my 2 hours at The Ritzy last week…

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At The Movies: Jackie

At The Movies: Jackie

There is definitely a case to be made that a film about a seminal moment in American history should be made by someone unattached to American history. Jackie’s producers, Darren Aronofsky and Scott Franklin (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) wanted their director to have as few preconceived notions about the Kennedys, the assassination and The First Lady as possible. This is one of the reasons they chose to work with Chilean director Pablo Larrain. The three envisaged a film predicated on political events without being overtly political, a biopic about Jackie Kennedy, unconfined to the experiences of The First Lady. The result is a movie that intimately explores the universal feelings resulting from bereavement and all its dissonances. It transcends the political to scrutinize the personal.

In case you don’t already know, the film is built around the interview that Jackie Kennedy gave to Time Magazine’s Theodore H. White in the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination: ‘For President Kennedy: An Epilogue’. It is also based on her televised tour of the White House. The movie vacillates between the interview, the tour and Jackie’s own account of the assassination and ensuing events.

The movie opens with reporter Theodore H. White drawing up to the White House to meet the cold and reserved Jackie Kennedy. Although he will write the article, she will vet his every word; this will be her story, not his.

Jackie is an expert manipulator and defends her actions throughout: ‘people like to believe in fairy tales’. She sees it as her duty to construct a narrative in which her husband is the Camelot that America needs, and she is his solid, resilient First Lady. She resolves to give him an arguably undeservingly grand funeral to elevate the Kennedy legacy beyond merely that of ‘the beautiful people’.

Seemingly cold and standoffish, Jackie is in fact attempting to cultivate an image of herself that she deems as appropriate for a First Lady: confident and emotionally stable. Yet she is anything but: in one scene she loudly declares, ‘I love crowds’, and in the next we see her in a crowd whilst the camera practically flails around her, revealing her unease; she is floundering, and out of her depth. And there is a palpable contrast between Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the onscreen Jackie Kennedy, performing for the camera as she gives her tour of the White House and the Jackie behind the camera, anxious in her attempt to appear flawless: she has an obvious ‘performing voice’, accentuating her vowels in order to appeal more regal.

Similarly, Jackie’s feelings towards JFK are multi-layered as, obviously, his untimely death left so many things in their relationship unresolved. Throughout the film we are made aware that their relationship was in no way perfect; now that he is dead, this makes her feelings towards him even more confusing.

The cinematography, costume and set design perfectly encapsulate her shock, grief and sense of the uncanny. There is a scene in which she returns to the White House alone after her husband’s death, The house is immaculate, and she would have blended in perfectly with her pink Channel suit, were it not splattered with her husband’s blood- more like a scene from a horror movie than a historical biopic!

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I actually found all of her costumes extremely memorable, which something I don’t generally pay a lot of attention to in a film. But I’m not sure if we can really credit the movie for this as obviously they were all based on the designs from the real Jackie Kennedy’s wardrobe….

But I think it is important to talk about the music: it was composed by Mica Levi, who’s other credits include Under The Skin, a suitably creepy movie about a weird alien/monster type creature played by Scarlet Johansson who drives around in a truck in Glasgow to entice men back to her home before putting them in a trance and trapping them in some sort of liquid abyss…its really weird (but quite good!). So hopefully that gives you a sense of the tone of the music…!

It is not the conventional historic biopic music you might expect, but provides the movie with a feeling of other worldliness. It is almost beautiful and lush but it jars and you get that feeling of something cold spilling down into your stomach, that something is amiss and that something may have just gone terribly wrong…

Interestingly, Jackie isn’t aware of her pyrrhic victories: she tells the journalist that JFK’s funeral should have been bigger and grander, and he has to reassure her that it was spectacular from an outsider’s perspective. The film examines the problems and contradictions of being a story maker and how important this role actually is. (A theme that Hollywood is often accused of being obsessed with- arguably another reason as to why this film has been so highly regarded by the industry!)

I don’t know whether or not this is an accurate depiction of the real Jackie Kennedy’s reaction to the infamous events, but it is certainly an insightful character study and fantastic portrayal of The First Lady by Natalie Portman (Her voice is absolutely perfect-it would be very difficult to distinguish between Natalie Portman and the real Jackie!). It allows us a glimpse into the way in which people may react to loss, grief and shock, which I found fascinating and moving.

At The Movies: Lion

At The Movies: Lion

In 1985, the tiny 5-year-old Saroo pads onto a train at his Indian hometown of Khandwa, curls up and falls asleep. Several days later, the train arrives in Calcutta, stranding Saroo utterly helpless; unable to speak the local language, unable to pronounce the name of his hometown and unable even to recall the name of his mother ‘she’s called mum…?’. As serendipity would have it, he is adopted by an Australian family in Tasmania and quickly adapts to a Western privileged lifestyle. He has just began to hew out a successful life for himself when, 25 years later at a University party, he samples julebi (an Indian sweet) and experiences a Proustian moment. As a result of this, he resolves to find his family in India and thus begins his search-capacitated by Google Earth (in a entirely unBlack Mirror-esque way!)

Such a story must, surely make for a riveting drama. And to a certain extent, it does. But I’m not sure whether it is the film itself that should be lauded, or simply the unbelievable true story. It would be very difficult not to ask yourself ‘Why did his brother leave him in the station by himself?’, ‘Where is his family now?’, ‘Are they still looking for him?’, ‘Will he ever get back to them?’ and ‘How would they react if they saw him now?’. The urge to discover the answer to those questions was for me, a good enough reason to keep watching the movie. But as I was watching it, I thought it could have been a better film had the desire to have those questions answered been more urgent.

It would have been fascinating to compare Saroo’s life in Australia to what it could have been had he stayed in India. And to a certain extent, the film does allow for this: we first see the adult Saroo (Dev Patel) on a surfboard in the middle of the tranquil Australian ocean. We then shift to a scene in a modern glass restaurant in which he clinks champagne glasses with his family to celebrate his acceptance to University. Clearly, such moments are far removed from his life in India in which him and his brother sold coal that they had nicked from a train in order to support their family!

However, I think more could have been made of these comparisons. The second half of the film is predicated on Saroo’s exigency to return to India. For him, India appears to be a distant memory, the prequel to his real life. Yet for us, this is not a distant memory at all- we just watched it! So I think it might have been interesting to explore the story from Saroo’s point of view. For example, the temporality didn’t have to be linear. Perhaps the story could have started when he first met his adoptive parents and vacillated form the past to present day…

Although…thinking about it… I feel like maybe I’m trying to Hollywood-ize the movie a little too much… And there were actually so many things I really loved about it!

Saroo appears totally incognisant about everything to do with India: at one stage he asserts defiantly that he (obviously) supports the Aussie football (Rugby..? :/) team over the Indian team. Perhaps he doesn’t want to think about his childhood in India because he hasn’t really come to terms with what happened yet or perhaps he feels guilty about leaving his family (probably both!). But we get a subtle sense that Saroo is uncomfortable when it comes to India, and it is to the film’s credit, this isn’t overplayed. And Dev Patel’s performance certainly aids in this- he has come a long way since Skins!

Similarly, the ending could easily have been overblown and schmaltzy but it wasn’t at all. And I found myself genuinely moved.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. And, just because it has to be said, the kid playing Saroo is fantastic and absolutely adorable:

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I guess one of the reasons I’m being so critical about Lion is because I’m comparing it to some films that weren’t nominated for Best Picture but that I think were far more deserving than this eg. Nocturnal Animals and Jackie. But I’d still recommend checking out Lion if you haven’t already.

At The Movies: La La Land

At The Movies: La La Land

I appreciate that not everyone has to be be this obsessed with La La Land:

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But I’ve been struggling with some of the accusations made against this masterpiece: ‘it lacks plot!’ ‘Ryan and Emma can’t even dance- or sing!’, ‘its totally overrated!” and, worst of all, ‘it was okay’….

Although I understand that these (first 3) do contain elements of truth, for me, they are irrelevant.

As is inevitably the case with films which receive masses of hype, La La Land has also been hit by a flurry of backlash from those whose high expectations cannot possibly be met. And so I think that one of the reasons I love this movie so much is because I went into my screening without any pre-conceptions.

I was lucky enough to attend a screening of La La Land a few months ago, back when there were no reviews, and only one rather short enigmatic teaser to go by…

So it was with a jolt that I was launched into this exuberant musical reverie. As you probably know by now, the film opens with queues of frustrated passengers caught up on the LA highway. Chattering LA-ers, the beeping of car horns and the cacophony of sounds coming from car radios give us the impression that this truly is a city bustling with music. Director Chazelle takes inspiration from his own favourites, “…like in Mean Streets or Taxi Driver or Rear Window you’re hearing Italian opera coming from one apartment window and Frankie Vali from another and jazz from another. But this is Los Angeles. The cacophony of sounds is coming out of cars. And I loved the idea of presenting the soundscape of the city that way”. Fed up of waiting in line, one by one the drivers exit their vehicles and in a spectacular explosion of colour and sound, jump on top of their cars, proving that a bit of madness is key.

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Interestingly, the very first edit of the film opened with an overture of credits before the camera swooped down to reveal Mia and Sebastian’s meet cute in their cars. But I think that by announcing the film by way of this spectacular 6 minute (made-to-look-like-a) vast singe shot, Chazelle assures us that this will be an explosive love letter to LA, on music and ambition.

I left the cinema feeling euphoric, unsure of whether to cry, run around, or just immediately book a flight to LA and try to live out the movie in real life!

So I think that to point to the ‘lack of plot’ would be to miss the crux of the film. As my friend (Mark) pointed out yesterday, there is no way that, after watching the opening car sequence, you would expect to find a thriller filled with twists and turns. Clearly, La La Land tells a pretty simple ‘boy meets girl’ story, but tells it with overwhelmingly breath-taking panache.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone do not dance to perfection, but the camera does; it swoops around them, capturing a sense of movement and excitement that may not have been possible had we been solely focused on the finesse of their movement. And where their dancing lacks, their performances more than make up for- Emma Stone is captivating throughout. Each minute facial expression reveals what she is thinking at every second. What more could the casting directors in her audition scene possibly have wanted from her?

Throughout the film, we can see clear parallels between La La Land’s Mia and Sebastian and Whiplash’s Andrew (Milles Teller). A clear theme is emerging in Chazelle’s work: clearly, he lauds tenacity and determination.

**Spoiler!!**

For me, the ending wasn’t unsatisfactory because the film wasn’t primarily about Mia and Sebastian’s relationship with each other; it was about the way it fostered their ambitions. So I don’t think it was necessary for them to stay together for their relationship to be perfect. It was perfect.