I’ll start with what I liked about the film and there was a lot! I thought that the way in which the film kicked off was really interesting, showing Jack Malik busking in the streets, whilst receiving offers to perform at Latitude and other venues – I liked how it wasn’t a typical music film which depicts the actor at the bottom and with no hope. Not only did this busking help to introduce him as a key character but also the community and friends that he had around him, exposing us to the key links and relationships between the characters very early in the film - allowing us to understand quickly who everyone was and what their role was so that we could follow their stories.
Seeing Jack in his daily life at the start of the film also helped to introduce us to his personality and traits.
It made him a much more multi-dimensional and relatable character, the film builds him up as genuine through the various ways in which he interacts with other characters. Such as at Latitude when he messes around with his friend and performing in front of a small crowd, it is clear that he has some talent, but there is one small element that needs work, his lyrics and that’s where the rest of the film flows in nicely.
To summarise the characters, I thought they were great, I really did. Not only did the characters feel engaging through their unique and individual personalities but there was also a good sense of humour that was genuinely funny which also helped to really make the characters seem exciting and genuine – this then had a really good and positive impact on the rest of the film, not only was it satisfying and enjoyable to see the characters and their relationships develop and evolve but also because of the use of flashbacks. I thought that these were really well used, not only did they help us to remember the ‘past version’ of Jack, but they also helped to establish and strengthen the relationship between him and Ellie because we see clearly how their relationship and feelings developed from a really young age – again strengthening the characters in the film and their relationships.
The characters really felt genuine and powerful, not just in their personalities but their relationships, the humour and banter shared between them helped to really create and hold chemistry which helped to intensify some of the later stages of the film where the characters realise their losses.
I thought that a really nice touch to the film was how it didn’t depict success with fame, Jack was famous but the people he lost and the sadness was really well communicated across through emotions and dialogue which meant that we really felt these emotions and they were intensified a lot, making the film really immersive. But the actors behind the characters were equally as good, not only did they really help to demonstrate the typical struggling, ambitious person but I liked how there seemed to be a real chemistry between the characters, Lily James usually shines in more old fashioned films but I’ve seen her really grow into these types of films and I thought she was great here and provided a really exciting partner/manager for Jack. Himesh (Jack) was great too, I thought that the genuine nature of his character meant that not only did he feel realistic in his role, but the emotions and feelings that he showed were expertly related to us as an audience, so when he felt regret, we felt it and when he was happy, so were we!
The other characters were kept in another row, which was important because the focus was supposed to be on Jack and Ellie. I also liked the other connections to a variety of different musicians too, I thought that the inclusion of Ed Sheeran throughout was nice, because it helped to bring a familiar face into the scene to increase the genuine nature of the characters, whilst also helping to personify Jack’s rise to fame. I also liked how the film wasn’t all about the characters but the effects that the music and lifestyle choices had on the characters, one of the best parts of the film that makes it unique is how it focuses on the music and its impact, but also keeps a strong and engaging storyline too. Not only were the characters great but so was the storyline too.
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