Last night, met up with Sucheela after work and caught a lovely little film, "Once," starring Glen Hansard of The Frames and Marketa Irglova, his bandmate in his side project, The Swell Season. It is a basic tale of boy meets girl and falls in love with her and can't have her, but the execution is by no means simple. While the dialogue is somewhat sparse (which may be a godsend given the accents of the Irish Hansard and Czech Irglova), through the use of beautiful music, they manage to tell a tale full of emotion, romance, friendship and longing without hitting you over the head with it.
The film reminded me a lot of a favorite film of mine, "Before Sunset," which focuses on two main characters as they rekindle or perhaps more accurately, find a new romance between each other while simply walking through the streets of Paris. There is little reliance on plot points. The movie just breathes. The tension between the two is palpable, and as the viewer, you find yourself rooting for certain things to happen.
I walked out of the theatre a wee bit melancholy for the main characters, admiring the restrained passion they felt for each other. Upon reflection, I also decided the movie suggests that sometimes people come into our lives for a short while, and however limited and brief their interactions with us may be, they cross paths with us for certain reasons, and it's important to keep our hearts and minds open for those beautiful moments. Hansard's character in the movie may have not gotten the girl in the end, but she helped push him forward and compelled him to make more beautiful music for the world to hear.
Hansard and Irglova and the rest of The Swell Season play songs from "Once" next week at the Blender Theater at Gramercy. I might have to dig up a ticket to this sold out show. I was supposed to have seen them opening for Damien Rice in December at the Beacon, but alas, work kept me. D'oh!!!