Yesterday I experienced two quite life defining things for me:
1. I watched La La Land.
2. I intentionally went to the cinema to watch it alone.
Now I’m left inspired, dreams reignited, life reinvigorated. Disclaimer: this post isn’t, as such, soley a review of La La Land yet it may also include some sort-of-but-not-really spoilers and may not be as fun if you haven’t seen the film. Watch it. Go on.
So let me explain first why I went to see it alone and why you should also give yourself the chance to watch a film by yourself. I had never before, at almost 22 years of age, been to see a film in the cinema by myself. I’ve never felt the need, nor have I ever not felt the crushing anxiety that people might pity me thinking I have no-one to go with. But that’s the point, even when you have people to go with you should give yourself a chance to experience a film by yourself, the experience, the sensory invitations, everything that the cinema offers. It is an oddly liberating affair and one that also gave me a certain well needed injection of confidence/ release of social fear.
The fact that I went to see La La Land on my own was a purely impromptu decision, but one that could not have been more perfect. Personally, there is not a more appropriate and fitting film for me to have seen alone. I was able to soak in every single aspect of the film without distraction, and in a strange way feel as though it was a private screening for me. Which was even more relevant seeing as though, despite there being other people in the room, there were so many accurate moments that felt as if Damien Chazelle in all his genius was presenting me with a version of my inner most wishes. Like I was watching a performance that was created, and I do it believe it was, for people like me: Dreamers. While saying ‘people like me’ sounds a little exclusive and pretentious, I’m not in any way saying that ‘Dreamers’ are a rare kind, they’re not, but they are a specific kind of person and this is the film for that kind of person. It is a passionate, endearing letter to The Dreamer, letting them know their dreams are shared, their fears are understandable, their struggle is normal and they should never lose faith in that dream. There is one particular lyric from the song ‘Fools Who Dream’ within the film that says “here’s to the fools who dream, crazy as they may seem”. It was just the most perfect moment, with admittedly tears rolling from my eyes, for me to understand completely what the intentions of the film were. It encapsulated everything that the film had worked toward and gave life to a new born inspiration into possibly deflated souls.
This film teaches us that dreams are not just fantasies imagined by naive and overtly off-in-the-clouds clowns as some still paint us as. It is a celebration and a proud affirmation of a beautiful way of life. Because whether you have seen this film or not, if you are a dreamer, you will understand that this way of life is not just roses and buttercup dreams. It is wanting so badly to achieve a goal, to be able to declare ones job title with the largest smile achievable. But it is also a continuous and never-ending state of anxiety as to whether we are good enough, whether this dream is simply as clouded in impossibility as the ones we see at night when our eyes are closed shut. It is the scorn and “okay, dear” looks that people give you when you say what you want to be; the condescension of those who refuse to dream.
But life isn’t just about living to make money to be able to live. It is about fulfilling the souls purpose, the need we all have to be a certain person, to live a certain way. If that takes 30 years as opposed to 3 then that’s how it should be, but it is sad when we kill our purpose because we have lost our energy to dream.
There are a million and one people and things that will try to be an obstacle. At least 50% will be created by yourself, in an act of self-defiance and impatient distrust in your own talent. That’s a hard truth; it is also a harsh lie. 9 times out of 10, if you have found such a drive, such a need, such passion to work for something; if you have lost people in the fight, and fought for the loss then that will show through your talent, whatever that may be. Dreams are furious and dangerous weapons; extraordinary and iron-fisted tools they are not to be understated. If it is there, if the feeling is strong enough, then don’t let it simmer, let it boil into the worlds greatest creative concoction.
Also, if you are dreamer, in whatever manner, please please go and watch La La Land and remember what it is you are dreaming for.
(this was like 50% review 50% opinon/advice piece but I’ve still given it a rating because it was so damn pretty.)