La La Land Review: The Lovely Portrait of Rejection

Jan 22, 2017
la la land analysis

La La Land’ sets itself up clearly as a love letter to Hollywood’s older musicals. On its opening scene, director Damien Chazelle breaks out an energetic musical sequence set in the tune of “Another Day of Sun” at a traffic-filled setting of a Los Angeles freeway, setting up the idea that the city is alive and well regardless of its busy lifestyle. 

la la land analysis

The city has built itself on this premise, attracting outsiders to come in and enjoy its environment with hopes of becoming big on their respective fields. One of these people includes our two leads Mia and Sebastian. Two dreamers who seek to bring something new out of their regular selves. But what they got here is the other way around, a promise wrapped in a pool of rejection and lies. 

la la land analysis

This film works best when it honors something from what it wants to be, the classic old-school musical films. It’s easy to see how this thing goes right off the bat, but it eventually strays away from conventionality as much as it could and break the reason that made it work in the first place to pieces. A character in the film quotes something that perfectly resembles the rebellious attitude it ended up: “How are you going to be a revolutionary if you're such a traditionalist?” 

La La Land’ has been so focused to the familiar whimsical, tap-dancing musical numbers so much that when it ignores this completely, an effective mix of anger and glee ensues for its resolution. A long montage in the end was even inserted to show just how all of it can somewhat work very well despite being chaotic that it has become. 

la la land analysis

In a way, this oddly reflects to the conflicted condition of Hollywood musicals. It wasn’t as alive as before. Not as many people want it. But director Damien Chazelle is sure he wants to bring this back. Strangely enough, ‘La La Land’ is a bittersweet, if not, the quintessential love letter to movie musicals. The film honors it, attacks it, but like Mia and Sebastian in the movie, is not holding off their aspirations to let it down. 

The geek rates it 9/10!

'La La Land' is now showing in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films! Rated PG by the MTRCB.

la la land analysis

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