Once

Once in a while, you stumble into something effortlessly beautiful.

Love. Music. Love for music.

In the streets of Dublin, a struggling musician finds a kindred soul. The two soon discover that they make good music together, and starts to collaborate on making a demo record.

A film about music artistry with undertones of a potential love story, Once reminds us that in between the lines and melodies, and stripped off  of all the business hullabaloo, music is the language of the human heart. Done with a very low budget, shot  like a home video, and with the two leads having little or no professional acting backgrounds, this indie film is as natural as it can get yet having the capacity to move and inspire. Sparse on the production, rich in heartfelt emotion.

The first time I heard the song Falling Slowly, I fell in love with it. This song, and most of the songs in the film, are collaborations between Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the movie’s two lead characters who are real-life musicians, rather than actors. It’s really amazing how we get a glimpse of this collaborative process as it is being played out on-screen. Watching this movie, I wish that I were an artist myself. I wish I had that gift of self-expression, to turn raw emotions into another self-sustaining life form. I wish that I could also feel that gratification, that sense of pure bliss after having created something beautiful – like in that scene on the beach at dawn, after they’ve finished their demo recording.

But then again, I’ve accepted that some things come naturally to some people, but not to others. And that’s not too bad, ‘coz we can still live vicariously through their images, their songs, and their words. It doesn’t make the experience less real or less felt. There also exists a unique kind of joy in finding a connection, in discovering an image, a melody, or a line that seem to be made just for you. Sometimes even, it comes as a pleasant surprise.

Like stumbling into something like this that’s so effortlessly beautiful every once in a while.

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