– S P O I L E R A L E R T – “Once” is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band The Frames, “Once” tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.
Once is a low-budget musical movie in 2007 where the song “Falling Slowly” became popular. It was composed and sung by also the instrumentalist and actors who played the characters in the movie, Glen Hansard, and Marketa Irglova. Before I start my analysis on the story, the movie had numerous bad reviews, and it also has good reviews due to it’s subtle message and songs you might/ might not enjoy.
I enjoyed the movie because I’m also an instrumentalist, an aspiring broadway actress, and most important of all I can somehow relate to the story. The characters were never given a name, Glen played the guy, and Marketa played the girl. It is a story about the girl and the guy who met and bonded over music, but they were not meant to stay in each other’s life, they only meant to teach and help each other just for a moment. That is why, I believe that the sayings about a couple it’s true. Some couples are meant to be together just for a moment, at a specific time. There will come a time, that some of them will split up, and be with someone else.
Also, I love that they showed the message of the movie in a subtle way and the emotions through the song. The couple met Once. And in those brief encounters, there was resonance and transformation. It was short, but it left the couple the longest and strongest expression that will last them a lifetime.
Marketa playing “The Hill” from the movie.
The girl’s *lovemap is healthy for me maybe it’s because for being a mom at an early age. She is separated with her husband at that time, and she is the breadwinner of her family. She is sensible, responsible, practical, industrious, innovative especially when the girl got the guy a recording opportunity, and talented of course. She is also broken hearted because she and her husband were experiencing some problems. I based that on the song she played, The Hill. How she’s still learning and trying since her husband is much older than her. The girl inspired and motivated the guy in the movie to work on his songs, and to work on their own record album. She moved him to move forward and do something about his situation.
The *guy’s lovemap is somehow unhealthy because he suffered a heartbreak too. He’s got full of ideas, he’s got a good voice and plays guitar too. He works hard as a busking Dubliner and he fixes vacuums. He’s older than the girl but at one point of the movie, acts like a teenager when he invited the girl to bed, but she refused up until the end when he invited her again to stay the night on his last day at the city. She said she’ll visit him, but she never came. The guy inspired her to play the piano again and also to sing. He just seemed like a lost man to me. As if he hasn’t got things under control or figure out in his life.
Playing “Falling Slowly” from the movie.
Falling Slowly from the broadway musical.
Guy and the girl had chemistry when they first met. She was in awe of him when he was playing his guitar and singing on the street. They were lonely kindred souls who found each other, as they were still holding a torch for a previous lover. The scene where they played “Falling Slowly” was a very precious scene. This is where the guy found out that the girl is a very good pianist, and she was able to pick the song easily.
This was a story about a couple who met once and fell in love with each other, sending each other smiles, and stares of deep longing, who were supposed to be together, but it doesn’t mean they’ll stick together for the rest of their lives. In the end, the guy got back with his ex-girlfriend, and the girl got back with her husband. The last scene was bittersweet, it never left me, and it always makes me sad every time I watch it.
Another thing I love about the movie is because of the realistic situation and the setting. It’s not like the cop out situations given in series and the movies to make the audience believe that the couples should end up together or that they deserve to be together. Watching them for a short time made us want them to be together.
Aside from the movie’s unique charm, the actors who played the characters also helped the connection and the chemistry of the couple in the movie, and for it to gain popularity because Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova fell in love during the shoot of the musical and started dating while promoting the movie.
Apparently, Glen and Marketa had known each other years before, despite their eighteen years age gap, they were also drawn to each other ever since they met and they’ve also bonded together through their music.
So the *chemistry on screen is not just pretending, it was intact before they even started playing the characters. It was a mixture of real *intellectual chemistry between them which was shown through their music, *empowerment chemistry from the way they inspired, and helped each other and *sexual chemistry shown by the smiles, stares and deep longing they shared.
I can’t speak for the couple’s relationship, but the couple made a sort of sequel for the Once movie, called the Swell season, it is a documentary film of Glen and his band, The Frames, with Marketa. Unfortunately, in the film, the couple eventually break up. They didn’t handle the sudden rise to fame and the relationship well to work.
That’s in the past, because just like the movie, the couple is now happy with someone else and are somehow still friends. So everything is fine. Due to the movie’s success, the Once musical movie, is even now on broadway. Once is a charming and unique movie, with a big message delivered subtlely. So, guys, I recommend you to watch it. I hope you enjoy it, the way I did.
*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.