Once (2006, Ireland)

Platonic romance

Platonic romance

This is an unusual film built, as it is, around the musical talents of the leads (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová) rather than a strong narrative drive. The extended musical sequences may suggest a musical, but they aren’t used to progress the narrative. By showing complete songs (which are good) the narrative, basically concerned with the protagonists working out their relationships, pauses and so takes us away from the usual ellipses that drive stories onwards. This necessarily means a lack of momentum and so it’s crucial that the music engages us.

Judging by the Oscar, for best original song, on the +8 rating on imdb.com, this does work for most people (not enough for me however). It seemed that much of the street footage (Hansard plays a busker) is shot candidly which gives the film an immediacy that is engaging.

Certainly worth watching though I guess I wanted to know more about being a migrant in Ireland (Irglova’s character is Czech) but that would be a different film.


One Response

  1. I loved ‘Once’. A friend lent me the DVD saying I have to watch it because it’s about a street performer (and I am one, too). The scene where the busker runs after a guy who stole money from his bag rang very true – I had that happen to me, too, and it ended the same way as in the movie. From there on the movie kept growing on me as it went on.

    All the best,

    Saw Lady

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