Mark Ruffalo Essay

Decent Essays
tarring: Mark Ruffalo, Kiera Knightley
Directed by: John Carney

Begin Again which was originally titled ‘ Can a song save a life? ‘ Do you believe in the healing power of song?

The film begins in a bar as a shy singer named Gretta ( Knightley) reluctantly takes the stage at an open mic. A scruffy-looking man, Dan (Ruffalo), watches her with his drink. Gretta plays a quiet song, her gentle voice accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. No one pays much attention, but Dan at the bar is attracted by her. Dan looks out at her with a new hope in his eyes. Using flashbacks as a way to reveal the miserable day – Dan loses his record company job. He separated from his wife, Miriam and struggles to relate to his teenage daughter, Violet. Meanwhile, Gretta has split from her about-to-break big rock singer boyfriend, Dave. These two
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The dissolution of their relationship underlines the conflict between commercialism and artistry. There is a gently pointed critique of the recording industry ‘s preference for supermodel stars with formulaic music. Thankfully Carney never pushes these themes. The critique is unforced and quite convincing.

However, not every part of the film works as smoothly. The plot feels a little flimsy especially the father – daughter bonding element. The reintroduction of Dan’s daughter (Violet) to the plot feels a little bit shoehorned.

Overall, Begin Again is sincere and heartfelt and its narrative strength outweighs its shallower elements. It is simple and earnest. It flows with the even pace of a relaxing summer song. The director John Carney has an abiding belief in the power of music to change lives. Music, in general, is an art form that can move us to tears with one simple chord or touchingly real lyric. It alters us in a way that can't be explained. Through music, we may find a reason to live and make amends with ourselves and those around
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