Begin Again – Review (Spoiler Free)

Begin AgainBegin Again is everything that you hope for in a feel-good summer movie.


Which isn’t to say that it’s perfect, nor is it as strong a film as Carney’s previous hit Once, but with Begin Again you’ll find yourself often grinning at the unashamedly upbeat vibe and joyful celebration of music.

The story of two downtrodden members of the music industry meeting and deciding to record an album together is the perfect vehicle to honour music and the effect it can have on one’s life. Begin Again does this well in almost every respect and you’ll leave the theatre feeling warm and will recall the conversations they have about music and its transcending qualities. Come the next day though and you’ll have most likely forgotten every song in the film… which is a problem. A film about the power of music needs to have much more memorable and impactful songs. Don’t get me wrong, many of the scenes with music set to them are lovely, but it’s the action taking place on screens which sticks and not whatever it is they are strumming on a guitar. Still the movie does hold up for movie lovers as the music is pleasant to listen to, and the film’s premise that music can save lives is very easy to get on board with.

Begin AgainSomething that I have to congratulate Carney on is his handling of clichés here. Numerous, what would have been disastrous, pitfalls are avoided, some cleanly, but with some others he teases us with the possibility of heading into cringe worthy territory and then swaps into a more intelligent, and true to the characters moment instead. Also, the clichés that the film does embrace are presented in such a warm way that you can let them slide. Begin Again really owes a lot to it’s cast as without their hard work this could have felt cheesy at times. Take Mark Ruffalo’s character for example; we have seen the broadly painted struggling father figure a million times before but Ruffalo here gives him enough likeability and depth so that we really don’t mind the character’s familiarity.

The bottom line is that I had a really good time with Begin Again. It has some flaws  to be sure, but it’s the kind of movie where I wasn’t really aware of them during it as I was just having a really nice time. In trying to think of how to describe this movie I toyed with the words perfect summer movie, but that’s a little demeaning. It’s uplifiting, full of strong and enjoyable performance and is ideal for music lovers. Just don’t go in expecting a second Once, this one’s strength lies not in its music but its actors.

Summary:

What is the film’s greatest strength? The work done by its cast, Ruffalo in particular. 

Its greatest weakness? As nice as the songs were, I wish that I could remember a single one of them now.

Would I see it again? Yeah it’s an excellent feelgood summer movie.

Strum out your thoughts in the comment box below!

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24 comments

  1. Nice review! An excellent feel-good summer movie is exactly what I need. I’ve been mulling over this one, but I think i’ll have to see it now :)

    1. Thanks Courtney! Well I hope you like it, as I say above it does have its flaws but is perfect for a bit of summer movie fun!

  2. Nice review mate. I hadn’t really considered this one but I’ve read some positive reviews. Might give it a whirl.

    1. Cheers, yeah don’t go in with really high expectations and you hopefully will enjoy it. You seen ‘Once’?

  3. Natasha Harmer · · Reply

    Been wanting to watch this for a while, it sounds like good fun :)
    Great review! Will definitely be keeping an eye out for it now!

    1. Thank you, I hope you enjoy it too Natasha!

  4. theipc · · Reply

    Sounds like something I would not like :)

    I’ll live this one through you :)

    1. Yeah I would not recommend this to you at all!

      Smothered on the other hand… did you see my review of that?

      1. theipc · · Reply

        I DID!! I want to give that a shot!

        1. I thought you would like the sound of that one!!

          1. Oh I did : )

  5. Great review. I really want to see this one!

    1. Thank you, I hope you get to check it out then!
      Have you seen Once?

      1. Yes. The music in that one is fantastic! Well-deserved Oscar!

        1. I didn’t know that it received the Oscar!

          1. Yes. Best Original Song!

          2. That’s great!

  6. Except it has Keira Knightley in it and she’s so annoying.

    1. Haha you really don’t like her do you!

      1. No.

        1. Fair enough!

  7. Really looking forward to seeing this. Thanks for the review.

    1. No problem, I hope you like it!

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