Despite what you've been hearing and thinking about The Last Five Years, this film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's amazing off-broadway musical is on point and beautifully filmed. So instead of finding a significant other, how about we just cry, laugh and sing along to the beautifully blended voices of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan?
Directed by Richard LaGravense, this film first premiered at TIFF (and yes, I did go see it then and went to see it again this week as it premiered in theatres because it was that great) and takes on the story of a young couple, in love in New York and looks on the past five years of the time they've spent together - from the exciting beginnings of falling in love, to marriage, and then the inevitable downfall that lead to their break-up. It's a 100 per cent sung-through film with only enough scripted dialogue to fit about a page and a half (maybe).
Here's why you should watch this:
1. It's a sing-through musical
Although musicals may not be everyone's cup of tea, this is a guaranteed-must for musical theatre enthusiasts. There is only so little that isn't sung through. The songs represents everything a dialogue can and more. Singing along with your feelings and their feelings is a way to go. With great songs like "I Can Do Better Than That," "A Summer in Ohio" and "The Next Ten Minutes" it will have you replaying the entire soundtrack over and over. I love these songs because they really articulated the characters and the transition they go through in the film as time flies by and things turn south. The music arrangement was also timed perfectly to reflect the intersecting timeline of the two characters. You have Jamie in one end, and then later on, the new song he sings references back to what happened earlier. Songs makes things more exciting and not dull. Who needs drama, when you have tragedy through song? (maybe not that tragic.)
If you're a film studies enthusiast (and wanna-be minor) like me, you're going to love the way this was filmed. Because of the intersecting timelines and the moods of the film, the colouring, mise-en-scene and cinematography reflects everything important to this film and it's intricate storyline. Young Jamie and Cathy are seen brighter, highly contrasted, and summery to reflect the happiness of their young love and the starting of something great and new and exciting. Cathy's hair is blonde, auburn and highlights, with cute dress and summer clothes - like the seasons don't change in NYC. Same goes for Jamie with his short, choppy and messy hair, and dressing like he's 23. This takes a turn as we jump from happy days to the recent present/future, where their relationship starts to soil and we see that they're older. Jamie mattes his hair down to reflect an older self, and Cathy's hair is shorter and a darker shade of auburn (and no more highlights). She wears less dresses and more pants. The scenery is darker, gloomier and looks like it's going to rain, even though it doesn't. It's amazing what they did in filming to reflect the movie and its storyline.
3. It stars Anna Kendrick
Why not? Anna Kendrick fans REJOICE! She was great in Pitch Perfect, she was great in Into the Woods, there's nothing to lose musically. She's a theatre baby that has come back to her roots, and she's awesome. Hilarious, doesn't take herself too seriously, and a great actress all around. She also has great chemistry with Jordan, which really makes the film since these two carries the entire thing. If you love her, you'll love this movie.
4. It stars Jeremy Jordan
Now to the musical fans, you know him and he's rising. How exciting is it to see theatre stars making it big?! Jeremy Jordan was the right choice for this, he plays the Jamie character very well and he's got the chops in the singing department. For those who don't know him, no worries you will soon. It's got the broadway credits in his bill, and he is all around adorable to watch. Expressive with his singing, you'll fall in love with him. I personally loved him as young!Jamie, before he became a jerk.
5. The intersecting timeline
I love a good story where there are multiple storylines intersecting together in one universe or interesting timelines that jump all over the place. I find it fun, interesting and all around exciting to watch unfold. The great thing about this story is how we learn of a couple that falls in love and falls out of love, told in the most non-linear way - making this less boring. We learn of what happens in the past five years these two were together and the perspectives of both sides as things happen (both ups and downs). We start with Cathy at the end of the relationship, and Jamie at the beginning of theirs. The two perspectives run their linear course until they intersect in the middle, where Jamie purposes to Cathy and the two sing together for the first time, making this an X story.
This movie was ultimately funny and enjoyable to watch. There wasn't a dry laugh in the theatre, and everybody was bubbling, maybe even a few tears. Take my word, and go watch it, it's highly recommended.
Have a lovely day ~ Oriena :)