Short Movie Reviews - La La Land (2016), Arrival (2016) and Happy Together (1997)

/ Tuesday, 7 February 2017 /
1. La La Land

  • The musical score and dancing was superb. I am still humming City of Stars.
  • Loved all the dreamy scenes, particularly the night-time pool party scene where the confetti fell like snow and the crowd moved in slow motion before speeding up into a frenzy. It reminded me of Great Gatsby- "I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy".
  • The plot line was a bit lacking. It didn't stand true to the title 'La La Land' which, to me, suggests that the dreamers remain for the rest of their lives chasing their unattainable dreams. I felt like it could have been more tragic and romantic in that sense. Moreover, I felt the romance was a bit flat and could have had more substance. Personally, it relied too much on visuals, and not enough dialogue, to build that connection.

2. Arrival

  • Arrival maintained a great level of suspense, and the development of Amy Adam's character as a broken yet determined woman, was very believable
  • The plot line was quite beautiful in that it looped back in time, and it really pulled some heartstrings. I found it similar to Interstellar as it very much attested to the power of love, despite impending tragedy.  
  • It truly subverted the typical alien/sci-fi plotline, and was great commentary if not allegory re: politics (maybe re: nuclear warfare?)
3. Happy Together

  • Fuck, this was an amazing film. Wong Kar Wai is probably the only director who is able to make me tear up every time.
  • The film truly captured the essence of a highly dependent but self-destructive relationship from the get-go, in the first raw, black and white scene. Despite the dramatic violence and brawling, the turbulent romance between the two main characters seemed very believable.
  • The colours - oh the colours! The saturated colours and impeccable soundtrack is iconic to Wong Kar Wai's most famous work (In the Mood for Love), and it is no different to this movie. He captured Buenos Aires' Plaza De Mayo at night so beautifully, as well as the thundering magnitude of Iguassu Falls. Just like In the Mood for Love, he makes me want to explore the places he films, just to relive the feelings I experienced whilst watching his work.
  • This probably the best movie I've watched all year. It is equally tragic, yet cathartic.


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