Isn’t the musical is dead? On the evidence of Once, the answer is no – it’s just going through a few changes.
Guy meets Girl. It’s such a basic story, and sometimes that’s all you need. Guy is a busker, Girl is a cleaner – they meet and make a very simple connection, they both play music. They like each other, it might even be something more. And the songs that they play together suggest so much.
Once is short and very sweet. This is a film about emotion and mood and it does a fantastic job of conveying all of this through the music. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová aren’t actors but they are good friends and they create an incredibly believable attraction on screen. The music is part of the narrative in a believable sense – rather than randomly assigned song and dance routines, it is an intrinsic part of their lives. It’s just seamlessly placed.
I can’t recommend this film highly enough, it’s fantastic film about human connections and the music is superb.