Despite the movie winning 7 Golden Globe Awards and receiving 14 nominations for the Oscars (WOW!), some still claim that a) La La Land did not deserve that many nominations, and b) La La Land was an overrated movie. In this article, I aim to give my opinion on why La La Land rightfully deserves those awards and nominations. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)
1. Realistic Love Story
Whenever we speak about films of the romance genre, we never fail to mention movies that have made probably millions of people cry (because usually someone dies in the end – cliché much!). La La Land was different – not only was it not based on a bestselling novel, it was also different in its manner of showing Sebastian and Mia’s romance. What was so real about their romance tale was that firstly, they were both mature adults who could put their dreams and ambitions above their personal love. I have watched many movies where one of the madly-in-love partners will decide to give up on his/her dreams just to maintain the relationship. Not only that, if you have watched B/Kollywood love movies, how many times have you seen the ending of the movie being set in a train station where the couple who were supposed to go on different paths to chase their dreams end up together?
Another beautiful element to their love story was how they both DID NOT end up together in the end.
I personally liked this aspect of the movie because usually in romance movies, the couple either gets together and live a happily-ever-after life (like in fairy tales), or like what I mentioned before – one of them dies.
2. The Music and Cinematography
La La Land was the most audacious big screen musical I have watched in a very long time. The movie kicks off with an iconic scene set in the middle of a morning traffic jam. This scene was not only filmed in just one shot (WOW AGAIN!), it also shows the amount of cinematography work and effort that have been put into making this scene a success. This movie also has some of the greatest original songs composed for a contemporary movie musical. My favorite song in this movie, which also happens to be the song that has been nominated for an Oscar, is “City of Stars”. The act of Ryan Gosling singing this song to two strangers was one of the movie’s most memorable scenes. Another reason why the songs in the movie stood out to me was because of the melody and lyrics of the songs. The songs were catchy, quirky and had implicit meanings behind them that most of us can remember.
3. The Ending of the Movie
Many movie endings have broken my heart, but La La Land’s ending did not just do that, but crushed it to pieces, and then gave me reasons to fix what was broken. Towards the end of the movie (spoiler alert!), Mia (played by Emma Stone) and Seb (played by Ryan Gosling) have both found their successes in making their dreams come true. Mia, who goes to a jazz bar without knowing that it belongs to her ex, stumbles upon him as she sits among the crowd and watches him play their song on a piano. Here, she imagines how her life would have been like if she had made different choices in her past. We are shown scenes and moments experienced by both Mia and Sebastian, and to be honest, that took me on a roller coaster ride. A part of me wished and kept my fingers crossed, hoping that this was just a dream and we could all see the both of them settling down and having a happy ending. But then the movie ended with both Mia (who has married a different man) and Seb (who I assume is living the single life) exchanging a final look before Mia smiles and leaves the place. Though initially I found this to be extremely unacceptable, towards the end, I accepted the reality that not all love stories will have a happy ending. In the movie, even when both the characters of Gosling and Stone promise one another that they will always love each other, we can never know what the future holds for us. Their act of putting their dreams and aspirations above their personal needs and emotions to achieve their goals was, to me, indeed the realest and purest form of love out there.
In conclusion, La La Land was the type of movie that entertained and made me consider and see romance in a different light. These 3 reasons are just some of the many reasons why this movie deserved and still deserves all the awards it has won. If you still haven’t seen this movie, then trust me, you are missing out on this one! Whether you are single or with someone, I strongly suggest that you watch this movie before or during Valentine’s Day, and I hope it allows you to see romance in a different light – just like what it did to me.
Written by Dinesh Jayabalan