Film Review 4: Once

It’s been quite a long while since I encounter movie such as ‘Once’. Trust the Irish to break from the tradition and bring out something fresh and new.


‘Once’ is an Irish indie movie which revolves around two people who share common passion for music. Yes, it is as simple as that.


I couldn’t help but to laugh at the unsteady handheld shots and overused of zooms and low key lighting. It almost seems like they couldn’t afford to pay for a proper cameraman, buy a tripod, lights or even a decent reflector. Yet in spite of all that, they put up one of the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen. It goes to show that you don’t need outlandish budget to portray a good story.

For a movie which strives to keep everything within their shoestring budget by hiring modest actors, minimum equipments and using their friend’s house as shooting location, it is definitely a huge success. I have to admit although the movie reminds me a lot of ‘Blair Witch Project’, the shaky shots which makes it looks more like a documentary or reality show than a film adds to its uniqueness. ‘Once’ is nothing like typical musical. It is unpretentious and relies on nothing but the story.


With no dramatic twist or tear jerking scenes, the simplicity of the movie is more poignant than other flashier musical productions. It is the closest to reality as you can get. After all, how many dramatic twists we have in real life? Some people may have heaps of it but the majority does not have that many. The movie flow smoothly throughout. I was left with the happy-sad feeling even after the movie ended.


There’s something captivating about this movie. Perhaps it’s the believable characters, or truthful story, or harmonious songs. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t mind a second serving.


Mel says: 8.7/10


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