02 June 2009

"ONCE" Upon a Time!


“Once” , within the first five minutes, makes you forget whether you have an extra pair of clean socks for tomorrow’s work or whether you should leave the vessels in sink postponing dishwasher duty. 


It transports you into the streets of Dublin making you a part of struggling guitarist life playing for money as well as testing his skill in music. You smell the streets he is playing in and you feel the pain in his songs. The movie is shot in handheld camera which adds to the power of this extraordinary storytelling. 


The protagonist is not given a name, neither his love interest and you realize that you don’t care as you understand them at a deeper level in your heart. The story of “Once” is about a struggling guitarist’s friendship with a Czech woman who plays the piano and helps him with his lyrics. This friendship starts with the mutual admiration of talent with the guitarist asking at the end of first date if he could sleep with her. It is in this scene that you realize the depth of the characters, the awkwardness, elegance and our choices in times of loneliness.  The Czech lady rejects him without angry outbursts or sad storming out from his room. She tells him a simple, firmest, NO. The character of Czech lady is that of a simple, extremely straight forward, self contained,honest hardworking,realistic woman.  Marketa Irglova, the lady who plays the Czech woman, transcends beyond her nationality and reminds you why we watch movies. 


Having removed sex from the equation, the guitarist makes up for his lapse wanting a true friendship, learning she has a daughter and mother living with her. She helps him with his lyrics and they develop their unpretentious love for each other. 


Is it Love ?a shoulder to lean on each other ? creative energy  and mutual admiration of each other ? or just plain companionship in the lonely world ? Perhaps its a mixture of all those things that makes this movie GREAT! And every mood is captured in the songs they sing whose lyrics make you pause, reflect and quietly stirs your melancholy. 


Perhaps the Greatness of this movie lies in the fact that it is so strongly rooted in reality with the Guitarist still pining for his lost girlfriend and the Czech lady knowing she has a husband back in her home country,yet, you see this rare, connected, untarnished friendship that can be called nothing short of love develop between these two artists who has portrayed it so honestly that you are right there with them in every scene. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova truly lives their characters making you believe them every moment on screen and making you yearn for them to be together. 


The Guitarist records his album and goes to London for better opportunities. The Czech lady’s husband comes to Dublin. Their love lingers in their music through the piano the Guitarist gifted the Czech lady and you are left with a lump in your throat at the end yet you are happy for having been a part of their lives. 


Art is best when it imitates life! Life is empty without Art!


“Once” is pure art reflecting hard Life, hard choices, capturing tender moments that sink deep into our hearts long after the movie has ended! 


It is a rare gem that happens only “once” in a very long time!

 

8 comments:

avanibala said...

nice post...I watched this movie last year...and absolutely loved it...very few movies like this tend to stick in my head for days after watching them...and the following nights i dream of different twists to the story..especially the ending...but i wake up and feel that no ending would be perfect except the one the storyteller intended...

btw,how have u been?long time no talk...

-avani

MotoRama said...

Hey Shalini,
It sure has been a long time. Hope things are going great in your life.

I think honestly portrayed emotional movies tend to stay for a long time and become classics. I wonder what would happen if he really does make it big and has enough money to afford her family! Maybe there is a "Once More" sequel. Who knows ? After "Before Sunset", this is one of the most revealing, transcending movie i have seen.

avanibala said...

life is very hectic...free time has become a luxury and sleep is something "very expensive" (like those items they lock up in department stores) but enjoying time with the lil one..her smile is worth all the sacrifices (not a usual mommy talk;i mean it)..never knew one cud feel selfless love for another person like this..i will be tired like a dog and sleeping like a log but when she cries at 3am (rolling eyes)...i'm up and alert and also pick her up with a smile..if it was anyone else trying to wake me up at that hour they wont live to see daylight...he he he but there are moments i wish she wud just shut up and sleep...and also mutter a swear word before rolling out of bed to pick her up...

Chandrika Shubham said...

Nice post! U have potraited the woman character so good. :) I liked the way u write. :)

goodmangood said...

笑口常開~~天天開心.........................

宅女 said...

來問個安,誰不支持這個部落格,我咬他........................................

Jyotsna said...

i am now keen to see this film..You have written about it so beautifully that now its a must-watch :)

reNUka said...

I had watched this movie on recommendation from one of colleagues. No regrets! Nice to see that you liked it as well!! :-)