CINEMA REVIEW: Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are right on song

Begin Again ANL-140715-123351001
Begin Again ANL-140715-123351001

BEGIN AGAIN (15)

SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: KEIRA KNIGHTLY, MARK RUFFALO, ADAM LEVINE, JAMES CORDEN, HAILEE STEINFELD, CATHERINE KEENER, MOS DEF & CEE-LO GREEN

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 40 MINS

DIRECTOR: JOHN CARNEY

Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo hit the right notes in this feel-good movie about music, WRITES MIKEY CLARKE.

The on-screen chemistry of the lead roles can make or break a film. As an audience we want to genuinely like the leads and feel what they’re feeling. Without that connection, a film that could have been great becomes painful to watch. Examples include Will Ferrell & Nicole Kidman in Bewitched and Angelina Jolie & Johnny Depp in The Tourist.

I thought Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo paired together was an odd choice before watching Begin Again. Having just seen the film, I’m pleased to say I was wrong. Their electric scenes together are really what sell the film. In fact, the ensemble as a whole works well.

This comedy, written and directed by John Carney (Once), tells the story of two lost souls that meet and bond over their passion of music. Gretta (Knightley) is a singer-songwriter who has recently been cheated on by her newly-famous boyfriend Dave (Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine), and Dan (Ruffalo) is a depressed alcoholic who has just been fired from his job as a record-label executive.

When the two of them meet at an open-mic night, they decide to create an album where all the songs are performed live in numerous New York locations – with police sirens, car-horns and trash cans, becoming an integral part of their music.

My biggest criticism is that the story to Begin Again has already been done . . . by the same filmmaker. It shares many similarities of Once – but although I found that a little distracting, I was still satisfied with this movie nonetheless.

This comedy is the perfect movie for those who enjoy musicals but found recent flicks such as Jersey Boys too dramatic and Walking on Sunshine a bit too much. This is somewhere in the middle.

Rating: 4/5