Chazelle had the script on hold for a long time, waiting for the right amount
of funds to bring his work to full fruition. With the overwhelming success
of Whiplash, Chazelle was able to pick up a $30 million dollar budget.
Chazelle followed on similar themes as Whiplash, in the main battle between
idealised success and soul-destroying failure.
The film follows Mia, an aspiring actress and Sebastian, a Jazz pianist.
Their stories entwine when both are at the bottom, living check – to – check.
After being fired on the job, Sebastian walks past Mia who was admiring
his piano improvisation from the sideline. Mia goes to give him a compliment
but he just brushes past. Their paths meet again at a party where Sebastian
is playing the keyboard in a wacky cover band. Mia enacts a bit of revenge
by getting the band to play the simplest song, technically, on the keyboard.
Their on-screen chemistry is undeniable, as Stone delivers a dramatic
performance that has just as many comedic moments as sad, whilst Gosling
remains forever charming with his cool exterior that can often break into a
snapping flurry of angry passion. Their chemistry is what drives the
complicated material forward in delightful ways.
What follows is a tale of romance, dreams, and the unfortunate way life
events turn out as you didn’t expect. Every single scene is splashed with
amazing, colourful designs, with each camera movement performed expertly.
The film is like a moving art piece with breaks of beautiful music
accompanied by occasional and captivating dance sequences. Every scene
is splashed with a rainbow of exotic colours that are combined with the
mysteriousness of LA locations.
Throughout the story and emphasised in the end is a clear message: Life
isn’t always the fairytale idealised story that you were taught as a kid.
Sometimes you can get some things you want and at other times you can’t.
It’s about having a passion and sticking with it to the bitter end. It’s about
having a purpose and having a roller-coaster ride of fun along the way.
Not only will you leave the cinema with a skip in your walk, a tear on your
cheek and a song in your heart, but you will be sure to turn around and go
see it all over again. The richness of experience is something that demands
to be re-watched again and again.