When hearing about Terrance Malick’s new work, including a trendy and talented cast;Emmanuel Lubezki behind the camera and the musical scene in Austin TX; both, criticsand audience grow in expectations. This time Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara are on screen to recreate Malick’s vision of the music business and the people who makes it.
Don’t worry, we are not talking about LA LA LAND.
The themes of the film are clear: love, ambition, lost and self-seeking. There is a constant search of something missing in human’s existence, an absence of purpose and the intent to find one. People wander in time and space with eagerness to connect with other people through love. They find themselves drawn by nature, architecture and music.
SONG TO SONG unfolds itself from a diffuse love triangle in the music scene of Austin, Texas. Cook (Michael Fassbender), a selfish and powerful music producer has Faye (Rooney Mara) under his wings by promising her fame and stability. She plays the modern damsel in danger pretty well and sticks under his deal without protesting too much until, a young musician BV (Ryan Gosling) trying to make his way by singing in bars and small venues appears in the picture. They meet in one of Cook’s eccentric parties and start a romance. Cook finds BV talented and offers him to take him far and beyond in the industry, he accepts the deal.
Strangely the three of them become inseparable. When being together the ease decreases and they seem happy and somehow fulfilled. The boundaries are blurry. Both of the guys fight for Faye’s attention and time, she falls for BV’s sincerity but is not able to leave cook. So things get complicated.
Escaping from the no-strings-attached romance all of them meet someone else. Faye starts an affair with a french woman. Cook marries a lonely waitress Rhonda (Natalie Portman) and BV dates an older woman (Cate Blanchet). These new relationship bring them to different ways of desperation and grief. Trying to find reasons to go on when arduous moments appear, they intent to recover the feelings the experienced when being with the other two, unsuccessfully. The scars are now too deep and their own decisions takes them to various directions.
The problem is how the characters journey is given to us. The plot is presented in such disjointed and puzzled manner, that one can easily loose interest. A lot of potential of the characters development is roughly followed and instead overlapped with the entrance of new ones, constant jumps in the time time line and repetitive scenes.
Naturally Song to Song presents lavish frames and Emmanuel Lubezky’s camera does the job well presenting this dreamy and vague scenario. In this case too much attention on how beautifully the actors move in front of the camera stole the exploitation to a story that could have had a much wider exploration to it.
Hopefully you will watch it and see how tuned Song to Song sounds to you. ♪