When we think about motivational movies, we think of a very troubled person, predominantly a male, who defies every rule of society and makes it big by the end of 2.5 hours. There’s always a big dramatic monologue by the protagonist, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it doesn’t inspire me to make a change but it’s rare for movies to preach about loving the little things, the small steps to small accomplishments. And one of those rare hidden gems is the 2014 zephyr, Begin Again. It’s the story of a songwriter meeting a record producer and they make an album together. Not a very new plot line, right? But what’s so special about this movie is that at the end, the protagonist, Greta (played by Keira Knightley), is not on a big stage being applauded by a crowd or being presented some prestigious award. She walks away from it not because she wanted to prove a point but it was just not her. Not everybody’s goal is to be a rock star or a billionaire; sometimes it’s just sipping on chai by the window with a loved one.
For someone who’s grown up watching Bollywood and Kollywood movies, I love getting to listen to a song after every five minutes in the movie. And that’s the next endearing thing about this film: songs that organically fit and just warm your heart. It has all the other aspects of an Indian commercial film as well: love, friendship, family sentiments, father’s love, a troubled marriage and, above all, heartbreak! I mean, when do we get to hear a girl’s perspective on heartbreak?! The subtle magic that Dan (played by Mark Ruffalo) brings is indescribable. Every music lover should see this movie at least once. You know how certain smells can take you back to a place or a memory of a person? Music gives me the same feeling. I vividly remember the first time I heard my favourite song, on a Mumbai local. A very mundane and common thing, to ride the local, isn’t it? But music can make the most boring of things look so lively and colourful. This has been beautifully shown in the movie, with songs being called “effervescent pearls” while the characters walk through the Big Apple’s buzzing roads listening to ‘Luck be a Lady’ by Frank Sinatra. Collect as many of these pearls as you can and forget about the actual white ones.
It’s okay to want the little things, it’s okay if you don’t desire stardom, but just want to be the best at and love what you do. The strength one can get with just a little bit of trust and faith from someone else goes a long way and that’s one of the things that no motivational movie ever made hasn’t shown. Loving yourself and feeling proud of yourself is not a selfish thing to do; it’s something that you deserve. As it’s said in the movie, “A person’s playlist says a lot about them” – so why waste time when you’ve got an amazing album called life waiting for you!
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.