An ode to the city of angels, Damien Chazelle's La La Land is rapturous love story centered around a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, each of which have big dreams under the bright lights of Los Angeles. Extravagant, grandoise, and playful, La La Land is a throwback to the beloved musicals of the past, featuring a bright and vivid color palette, lavish production design, and an exaggerrated sense of reality, assured in its flamboyance in a way that elicits the inner-emotions of its characters. How Los Angeles is this film you may ask? Well, the film's lavish opening musical number is set on a congested freeway, an opening sequence which announces the arrival of its playful tone and whimsical nature, exhibiting the sense of hopefulness this city can bring out in everyone when it's at its best. The romance between Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a jazz musician, mostly works due to the strong chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, but where the film really stood out for me is its deconstruction of creativity, dreams, and personal ambition, being an honest film about the hidden conflict these traits can have with the search for connection, companionship, and love. La La Land's brand of melancholy is rooted in the conflict between personal ambition and uncompromising love, a film that celebrates the promise but also the pain associated with a town such as Los Angeles, where dreams are dashed far more often than they are fulfilled. The strain which such dedication to one's craft can put on a relationship is especially felt throughout La La Land, as the film wonderfully taps into the intrinsic personal nature of art and creativity, exhibiting the unescaple conflict which exists between the desire to express oneself with the world and the shared compassion and selfishlessness that goes into any truly fruitful relationship. Art is selfish in nature, at least at first, and La La Land remains more honest than I was expecting about this inherent conflict between two individuals in Mia and Sebastian, being a film that is uplifting in its abiilty to capture the absolute bravery it takes for one to pursue their passion's in life, constantly fighting the fear of failure and the trauma and uncertainty which comes with it. Due to the film's dedication to being honest about art, creativity, and personal dreams, La La Land's love story beautifully elicits the inherent sacrifice and compromise associated with companionship, being a film which showcases the selflessness needed to truly find fulfillment in a relationship, tapping into the fundamental nature of what it means to be loved. In the end, La La Land is a film that is sure to subvert the expectations of some viewers, but what Damien Chazelle has crafted is an honest portrait of the unpaven roads of life, a whimisical, meloncholy story that is draped in optimism yet authentic about the sacrifices and struggles which take place when one pursues their passions in life.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.