READING TIME 5 Minutes
WAAAAAAAIIITTTTT!!!!! *spoiler alerts*
Last weekend, I dragged anyone who could be dragged for La La Land. I’m not going to talk about how Emma Stone had me girl crushing on her, or how Ryan Gosling was the HOTTEST tortured artist ever. I’m not even going to talk about how every song, every choreographed movement fits seamlessly into the movie (Bollywood, that’s how you do it).
Instead, I’m going to talk about the dreamers - those of us who manage to stay even slightly romantic in a world that thrives on self-deprecation, where the word ‘depressed’ is thrown around very casually. The movie is being lauded as a millennial love story, but for me, it's more about millennial dreamers who just HAPPENED to fall in love. And as a dreamer myself, I walked away with a lot of life lessons-
Being a romantic, and daring to dream, is so outdated. Of course, to believe that you have a chance to achieve something when the odds are stacked up against you is to believe that you’re special. And when was the last time you saw a trending hashtag reinforce that idea? Mia was a struggling actress, but she was also a practical barista who rarely ever let the world know that she dreamed. Let’s be honest here- having a seemingly impossible dream is anything but cool.
We survive through the idea of a simpler time. A time when Sebastian wouldn’t have been made fun of for being a romantic, when fighting for what you believed in, irrespective of social media approval, was actually cool. Even the movie is shot in an almost Gatsby-like way. The simplicity and the idea of ‘boy meets girl and falls in love without any drama’ is what we, as a generation need. It’s no wonder that Sebastian’s dream is to bring back pure music, and why he doesn’t move on from it.
We can’t walk the fine line between practicality and following the dream. Mia tries, but but she’s just a realist trying to dream. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a dreamer who can't pay his bills, and gets fired because he doesn’t stick to the cliched, shitty playlist that’s given to him. We either go all out with our beliefs and dreams, or stick to being practical.
We need someone who understands our ridiculous dreams to push us on. Sebastian pushed Mia into quitting her job, and into backing herself with her one woman play. And Mia reminded Sebastian of his dream to open up a pure jazz club when he started to stray away from it. Sure, their dreams eventually broke them up, but they also pushed each other when they needed to the most. And in a world that constantly reminds us that we’re being stupidly impractical, we need to have someone tell us otherwise.
It’s more of a, “should I move on from this pipe dream or stick it out” type of confusion. It’s a dream that’s not validated by society, one that proooobably won’t make the typical parent proud. We’re constantly caught between sticking it out for ourselves, or pleasing the rest of the world.
And nope, I’m not being melodramatic. In our own tiny way, we inspire and change the way people think. Every impossible dream achieved is a story that’ll inspire someone else. Sebastian had Mia falling in love with jazz just because he loved it, like she said, “People gravitate towards passion.”
We leave behind broken hearts and confused hopefuls. When Sebastian went on to follow his modified dream, he left behind a hurt and alone Mia. He left her as a mess who had given up on the dream he urged her to follow. We jump at the opportunity to achieve anything even remotely close to what we hope for, and forget that people we care for are affected, in the worst possible way by our actions.
To believe that you can, despite popular opinion, achieve what you set out to do is both romantic and ambitious. We believe in possibilities - possibilities of a happy ending, possibilities of once in a lifetime romances, possibilities of that big break. The worst part though? Because the universe generally sucks, we will be forced to choose between our ambitious side and our romantic side - between your soulmate, and the life you dreamed of. What do you do then?
Sebastian wanted to bring back pure jazz. Sebastian was broke and decided to compromise by joining a ‘jazz’ band that made dance-able music. Sebastian decided to stray from his original dream, and hurt his girlfriend in the process. What is Sebastian?- One grade A idiot.
It’s next to impossible to stay positive when everyone else tells you that you’re an impractical idiot who needs to give up already. Sebastian may have had a “fuck em” attitude in the beginning, but even he caved into his need for validation. And Mia, whose dream came alive when Sebastian validated it, gave up when there was no one else to encourage her. As much as we may be different from everyone else, we need for them to validate us, and that sucks.
Mia and Sebastian would literally fly away from the world during their dance routines, and that’s just the break all of us sometimes need. We need to lose ourselves in a fantasy, away from the naysayers, because that’s only way we can survive.
"There’s something to be said for having even unrealistic dreams. Even if the dreams don’t come true – that to me is what’s beautiful about Los Angeles. It’s full of these people who have moved there to chase these dreams. A lot of those people are told by people around them that they’re crazy, or that they’re living in la la land. I wanted to make a movie that saluted them a little bit, and that kind of unrealistic state of mind.” - Damien Chazelle, Director, La La Land.
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