Begin Again is a 2013 American musical comedy-drama film written and directed by John Carney and starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. Knightley plays a singer-songwriter who is discovered by a struggling record label executive (Ruffalo) and collaborates with him to produce an album recorded in public locations all over New York City.
When I saw the movie, I was more focused on Dave and Greta. Not that I’d feel regretful over Dave, but when I was watching it, I was reacting over Dave’s betrayal and how their relationship ended for good. I remember the last scene of Greta riding the bike away from Dave and thought that moment was freeing for her.
In watching the movie, I learned how Dave got poisonous or was badly influenced by his fame that he became the kind of person who would cheat on his girlfriend and prioritize earning more by turning their song into something else by following the popular trend. The song lost its soul and meaning because of how the music was arranged the second time. (Not that Adam’s version is not good. That’s just the storyline.)
Dave became the kind of person who would compromise his work because his priority was to please the audience. He’s got an unhealthy *lovemap because of how he treated Greta as his girlfriend and what he did to her. His life was run by his fans and by the people he’s trying to please. His life is not his own anymore. Greta taught Dave to be yourself and to not become the kind of person who follows the trend all the time. She preserved the soul and the meaning of her songs, but he forgot about that. At least in the end, it’s good that he realized he messed up. So I’m relieved with that.
Where lovemap is concerned, here’s my mapping on how the characters’ lovemap was improved in the movie.
Greta was the catalyst in Dan’s life. He lost his job and Greta gave him a reason to go on. Hearing her song was a hope for him because he heard something magical that night. She also gave him the courage to fix his life, his relationship with his wife and his daughter. Greta set his *lovemap right. Eventually, we realized that since they were both lost and they are musically inclined, they connected. So this is where the *intellectual chemistry happened.
At the same time, for Greta to moved on from her ex, Dan gave her hope and a reason to go on with her life by creating their album together. He supported her through and through in the process of her album and he never tried to change her or her songs. Dan set her *lovemap on the right path and she saw Dave for he is and it enabled her to moved on for good.
In the span of the movie, they gave each other’s life a-180 degree turn that made them live with the best versions of themselves. Now that is where *empowerment chemistry happens.
At the end of the movie, Dan set her wife’s *lovemap right by making her realize what she did and by seeing the guy she had an affair with for he is. So she got back with him.
When it comes to cheating cases, I believe that everybody deserves forgiveness with or without apology from the other person. Because when you forgive someone, you’re not living your life with anger and grudges over that person. You’re doing it for yourself and not the cheater. I also do know that forgiveness takes time, it’s never forced.
Second chances are only deserved by people who realized they were wrong and those who’ve worked hard to earn your trust again. I’ve seen rare cases of men and women who deserved taken back by the person they cheated on. I believe that not all cheating cases should end and there are those cases that are unforgivable. For example, if the man/ woman continued to cheat for a long time.
Having a failed marriage and being cheated is not the end of the world unless you lived by revolving your world around him/ her. I don’t believe that once a cheater is always a cheater applies to everybody. I believe it applies to those who are mentally ill and very selfish people because they keep doing it and they don’t feel any shame in hurting other people.
So I’m going return the movie’s question. Can a song save your life?
In the movie, Dan probably saw and heard Greta’s song and thought it saved him, but not completely. Like I mentioned before, Greta’s song was the catalyst, but it was Greta who saved him at some point of the movie. She reminded him of how much he loves his wife and encouraged him to fix things. She even fixed his relationship with his daughter and thought her to act more like a respectable woman than those who’s showing so much skin. Like Greta said, it leaves nothing to the imagination.
Did the song save Greta? I believe that she was only given an opportunity through her song because she lost something (someone). Despite her heartbreak, she’s not so messed up like Dan. She carried herself still properly in the movie. One of her best scenes for me is when she called Dave and sang him a song.
Director John Carney was trying to achieve the same effect that the Once movie had. Begin Again was a successful and enjoyable movie, but it didn’t surpass Once’s unique charm and reputation.
To be honest, at first I’m not sure how I’m going to analyze the relationship in the movie because so much was going on.
The audience is divided into two or three groups. The first group is affected because of the failed relationship between Dave and Greta. The second group is affected because of the almost love affair that never happened between Dan and Greta. And the third group is debating with the second group that the ending is much better rather than having Greta involved with Dan.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch it now. DVD copies and soundtracks are available anywhere.
*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.