Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

July 31, 2010

Play it again, please

Filed under: Have you seen this? — Rajeev @ 3:20 am

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to resist the charm of this warm, soothing love story Once, which is exactly the kind of film I’d recommend for a night in with a giant bowl of ice-cream for company.

Set in working-class Dublin, a thirty-something Irish fellow and a Czech immigrant in her early twenties bond over their love for music. So when he’s not working at his dad’s vaccum-cleaner repair shop in the day, he’s standing in the street strumming his guitar and humming Van Morrison tunes to disinterested passers-by. She sells roses on the same block, watches him singing one evening and strikes up a friendship. Next thing you know, they’re in a musical-instrument store whose owner allows her to come in and play the piano every time she likes. Here her new friend teaches her one of the songs he wrote, and they talk about their music tastes and aspirations. He tells her it’s a song he hopes to record professionally and convinces her to collaborate on it. She in turn inspires him to quit his dad’s shop and start raising the money required to record the single.

The remarkable thing about Once is that its beauty lies in its simplicity. It’s really an ordinary story, one whose charm lies almost entirely in its characters and their everydayness. Written and directed by Irish filmmaker John Carney, Once is a film that warms your heart because its a bittersweet story about people who have no extraordinary qualities or dreams.

You’ll enjoy the film also because of its fantastic music, written and performed by the actors themselves — Glen Hansard (of the Dublin-based group, The Frames) who plays the male lead, and Czech singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova who plays the female lead. We never learn the names of either character in the entire film, it doesn’t even seem important. What you will take with you when the film’s over is a deep sense of satisfaction; it’s really a kitchen-sink drama in the true sense of the word, an intimate, personal story about people so ordinary you can relate to them instantly. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself overcome with affection for the characters.

It’s the kind of film you’ll want to watch more than once.


  1. Great movie…music rocks…every bollywood director should see this movie and learn how romantic story is build thru songs…

    Comment by nikhil — November 29, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  2. it’s one of those few movies whose impact still lasts in my heart……

    Comment by snehasis rath — July 14, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  3. Nice movie…loved it…Great music!!

    Comment by Terence — September 8, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

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