Although it was filmed on a potato, Once is a musical masterpiece compared to many films out there. Set in Dublin, a modern-day busker meets a Czech immigrant and through music a beautiful relationship blossoms. Shot with a skeleton crew and in only 17 days, I am completely blown away by the quality of Once which goes to show that you don’t need millions upon millions of financial support to make a great movie.
Right off the bat, Once opens with a powerful scene with the main character singing his heart out in the streets of Dublin, at night, to absolutely no one. Immediately, he reminded me of an Irish version of Frank Turner (if you haven’t listened to him, go ahead). Followed after is a funny scene set the next day where he gets robbed, only to catch the robber and give him a fiver back of his own stolen money. Within the first 10 minutes you have the outset and atmosphere of the whole film: heartfelt and sometimes sad, but funny. The story is pretty generic, but I think that is the point as it shows a very common reality for some people. The reality being that you’re waiting for something special to happen, but it never does. A real life tale you could call it. Even the two main characters are nameless, probably because they are there to represent anyone who is passionate for music but cannot find their place. Although being a romance, there really isn’t any true romance, more-so it is a story of a strong and unique connection between two people who understand one another, especially musically.
Take a look for yourself:
Everything about the film was perfect, but of course the music is the driving factor for my love of it. It represents a certain kind of attitude that simply doesn’t exist anymore, or atleast is very rare. An acoustic guitar, a few chords, great lyrics, and some passion. That’s all it is, nothing fancy, raw and uncut good live music. So of course if you are at all a fan of acoustic, folk, or rock you would love the music within Once. I still find it uncanny how similar the musical resemblance is between the main character of Once and Frank Turner. For reference point give the song ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’ by Frank Turner a listen. Both give off this element of being a nomad artist on the road with an acoustic guitar and nothing else.
Definitely would recommend this for anyone with a deep love for music. It’s also on Netflix in the U.K as of 25/08/21.