Thursday, January 31, 2008
I never really thought much of Glen Hansard's band The Frames. I listened to one of their cds (Burn the Maps) to see if I wanted to stay and watch them after Josh Ritter. The disc was awful and I decided that an early retreat from Lawrence was a better idea. About four years later I watch Once which is directed by the former bassist (John Carney - not the former NFL kicker) of The Frames starring their lead singer. The story of Once is very simple and yet it works. A street musician (Hansard) meets a girl (Marketa Irglova) who can play the keyboards. A friendship is forged through music - which is surprisingly great.
Once doesn't go much deeper than the surface. The two leads seem to have a chemistry of great proportions, but the writer/director seems determined to subdue it. Tis a pity a couple of unnecessary f-bombs are thrown, coz nothing else is stopping this from being PG. Hansard comes across as clone of Hugh Laurie (House), while Irglova (who has never acted before) never really gets a third dimension. The script leaves their relationship feeling boxed in.
Clearly the film is a showpiece for some marvelous musical collaborations between the two. The soundtrack is a must buy. The film is ok, but leaves you wanting more out of this little movie.