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Carl the Critic: Talks about "Once"

Updated on July 24, 2011

"Once" Movie Poster


"Once" Movie Poster

Carl the Critic: Talks about "Once"

Experience/Expectations: When you think Irish, the first things that usually come to mind are your basic stereotypes, such as drunks, Guiness, Leprechauns, short temper, four-leaf clovers, etc. but I'm surprised that people over look the fact that they have made great movies. Films such as "Waking Ned Divine", "The Commitments", and"Angela's Ashes", are all great examples of amazing Irish which are in my list of top 125 must see movies before you die. Now I can add another film from Ireland to that list, "Once", a magnification film which may be in my top ten favorite movies of all time (ranking around 8 or so). Why is it so great?

Story: "Once" is a musical, and like all musicals it is the story of a poor musician, who is credited as just "Guy", with a beat up/broken guitar (which is a metaphor for Guy, because he too has been beaten up and broken.) One night he is on a street corner singing a song he wrote, and suddenly a young beautiful Czech woman, credited as Girl, becomes connected to the song that Guy is singing. The two become good friends and plan to make a record with Guy's songs so that he may become famous and win back his ex-girlfriend. But Guy doesn't really want his ex, he want Girl and something is telling him that she wants him too.

Critique: "Once" is a brilliant love story, with a great sense of humor, inspirational music (the song "Falling Slowly" won the Oscar TM for Best Original Song), amazing camera angels, clean editing, and characters that are more than likable.

The film was made for about $200,000 and it grossed to over $9 million in the US alone. The actors of the film are the actual song writers, and although they are not the best actors in the film, their chemistry on screen is perfect. The camera that was used to shoot the film was a Sony PD-150, and for those who don't know, a PD-150 is a camera that uses DV-CAM tapes instead of film or digital hard drives, so the quality of the movie isn't the best in the world. However this is a minor issue, and it cam be easily overlooked.

What can't be over looked is the swearing. Like the film "Paul", the use of the F-word seems a little over used at times.

The film itself is actually quite good, and if you ignore the swearing, and focus on the music (which you should, because this is a musical) "Once" is a film that is does almost everything right. It's not entirely perfect, but the use of music is done brilliantly, and the lyrics are cleaver in telling us everything we need to know about the main characters and their feelings for each other. "Falling Slowly", and "If You Want Me" are my personal favorite songs from the movie, but there are so many great songs, and the film uses them in a way that makes the film deep, and meaningful.

OVERALL: I gave "Once" a 10.0 out of 10, it is brilliant masterpiece and it should not be missed by anyone. Even if you didn't like the film the first time you watch it, I recommend giving the film three chances, and during one of those chances you watch it with your significant other. And if you still don't like it after the third time then you HAVE NO SOUL! (I'm kidding).

What about you?

If you've seen "Once", what did you think?

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