I can’t name many musicals off the top of my head; I was never a fan of them. Even films such as Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, or even Mary Poppins weren’t films that I particularly enjoyed that much. So, I went into La La Land with minimal expectations, I knew it was directed by Damien Chazelle and his previous film Whiplash was one of the most profound music-related films I’ve ever seen. Hence, my skepticism was overtaken by my intrigue to see what he has created this time; I cannot say I was disappointed.
How to Stream or Download La La Land (2016) Full Movie Online
To stream or to download the film from a digital store of your choice, click on the Download button located below this review. If you like Emma Stone, watch her also in The Amazing Spider-Man. And if you are a fan of Ryan Gosling watch him in First Man.
The Movie Review
La La Land follows the story of Seb (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone). Seb is a lonely jazz lover, who plays the piano in a small restaurant from which he gets fired for playing tunes that resonate with him; he aspires of opening his own club one day where he can play jazz music to his heart’s content. Mia is an aspiring actress, running through interviews and doing odd jobs such as waitressing to pay the bills.
A chance encounter leads them to talk, while their relationship starts off with conflict and them disliking each other, they later grow to understand each other’s passions and fall in love. The complications within their relationships arise when Seb begins doing what he can to make the most of his opportunities, playing synths in a band that he doesn’t like, and that leads him to be unhappy with everything that isn’t Mia.
Mia understands his dilemma and begins to separate herself from him due to his growing lament over his situations, and they both decide that the best thing to do for each other is to let each other go.
The way this film delivers each huge moment is through song, and man does it have a collection of songs that are insanely beautiful. I wouldn’t consider La La Land to be a full-out musical, as it follows a more Hollywood approach to itself. It has songs, but they are in-between moments of dialogue that are properly acted out and conveyed through incredibly beautiful performances from Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Emma in particular delivers the performance of a lifetime. Whether it be the joyful kick-off to the film with “Another Day in the Sun” or the beautiful poetry of love with “City of Stars”, it’s a film chock full of songs that will remain in your library long after you’re done watching the film. Even the instrumental soundtrack here is gorgeous, Justin Herwitz is truly a master of his craft and no one can deny that.
The film’s entire build-up, the tension between Seb and Mia, the love growing yet the relationship falling apart, leaving only admiration and respect between the two culminates in a fiery inferno of an end. The final sequence of the film is one of the most artistically crafted sequences of the year 2016. I wasn’t a fan of musicals, but after watching La La Land’s epilogue sequence, I am open to watching films such as this every day.
Chazelle’s direction coupled with the beautiful cinematography Linus Sandgren creates an atmosphere so driven by the complexities of jazz, love, the art of performance, and color. Each frame contrasts how the characters are feeling; it conveys the tune this universe is playing for these characters and how stylized this world is. As it ends on a bittersweet note, I cannot help but shed a tear as the lovers go their separate ways, despite quite honestly having the same level of respect and admiration for each other.
The Bottom Line
I cannot end this review without saying how incredibly talented Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are as singers, the chemistry between the two is tailor-made. The way they interact is something otherworldly yet drenched in realism. When the very first time City of Stars plays, you instantly realize that Seb and Mia are made for each other and that their story is going to have a bittersweet ending.
That bittersweet note is the perfect culmination of this musical epic, the way it ends leaves a mark on you and emotionally resonates with you. Because, just like in the real world; not all romances we have last forever but each one leaves us with more growth than the last.