At some point in our lives, we were all dreamers and ambitious. However, there comes a time when we realize we’ve settled with what we have and stopped chasing our dreams altogether. When that happens, that’s the real tragedy.
La La Land is a musical romantic-comedy written and directed by Damien Chazelle who gave us the Academy Award-winning Whiplash last 2014. Like Whiplash, La La Land dwells on the dying industry of jazz and how it is still fighting to be heard in the modern era.
Set in Los Angeles where Hollywood dreams are made of, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) met, fell in love with each other, and pursued their dreams together. Sebastian is a pianist who wanted to restore the glory of “pure jazz” music while Mia desperately wanted to be an actress.
With its spectacular music, editing, cinematography, and Gosling and Stone’s stellar performance, La La Land is more than just a musical as its 14 Oscar nominations would attest. Beyond the love story, the film hits us right in the feels with how it tells us that sometimes we compromise our dreams for a practical reality, the same way Sebastian and Mia did.
La La Land shows us the struggles of pursuing our dreams and the reality of what makes it so damn hard for us to achieve — sacrificing what we really want and trading our ambitions for practicality. As Mia said in the film, “You change your dreams and then you grow up.”
It’s true that sometimes, we settle for what we have and stopped looking for more, especially for those who are just starting out in life. There will eventually be a point in our lives where we question ourselves with: “Is this what I really want? Is this really where I’m heading?” and we answer it with “What better choice do I have? This is what I’ve got.”
You reach a certain age where you’ve accomplished just enough you thought your life would magically work out on its own. Most of the time it never does, and that’s okay. Things don’t always work out as planned but it doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You can always try a different path and see if it leads you to your destination.
La La Land shows us that while you may get stuck in a life you never wanted and doubt yourself everytime you fail, all you have to do is believe in yourself. It’s hard, but you’ll be able to get through it. Go back to your roots and start over. Go back to the beginning, where your dreams started and it was clear how you want your life to be.
So if you think your life isn’t going anywhere, or it currently isn’t the way you imagined it would be, remember that there are millions of people out there who feel the same. You’re not alone. It will get better someday. You’ll be able to look the universe in the eye and say “I did it!”
Spoiler alert, Mia and Sebastian did it too.