Begin Again is about two people brought together by their love of music. Directed by John Carney, it was inevitable for comparisons to be made with Once, Carney’s 2006 film that practically reinvented the modern musical, and this was initially the reason I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t think another version of two people who discover themselves (and each other) through music could compare with the original that starred Glen Hansard and Margeta Irglova. And for the most part it doesn’t. However, there are plenty of other things to like about the film, not the least being the music. The songs featured in the movie are fresh and original and go perfectly with the story about people who are heartbroken as well as with the setting of New York. It's the music that bathes the landscape and makes you want to stay. All tracks are performed, by Keira Knightley (surprisingly) and singer-songwriter, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, making his acting debut as (not surprisingly) a singer-songwriter and the ex- boyfriend of Knightley’s character, Gretta. Mark Ruffalo plays Dan, a washed out producer who discovers Gretta at open mic, just as his life is spiraling out of control. Do people’s lives ever spiral into control? You never hear about that. I think they should. I also think they should shave once in a while. The first twenty minutes of the film are so focused on the events leading up to Dan’s decline, that it’s almost a different movie and not in a good way. But from the moment you see the way Dan actually hears the music, when Greta sings on that fateful night, the film will have you hooked.
August 4, 2014