Fulfilling dreams can hurt (La La Land).

la-la-land-posterAfter I have listened to all songs and covers from the now well-known and acclaimed musical La La Land that were available on YouTube and I have watched bits and pieces of trailers I finally went to cinema to see the musical.  “The film that has faith that a boy, a girl, a bench and a plum-coloured sunrise are still capable of working their magic” (Robbie Collin). It worked. (Please do not read further if you intend to watch the movie).

It was slow, there were no major surprises. Love story with a cliché beginning – the two young people bump into each other accidentally on several occasions. There is certain antagonism, teasing and definitely a chemistry. Both are beautiful but ordinary, she is cute, he is charming. They both dream of their respective careers – an actress and a jazz pianist – what a perfect match from the start. They listen to each other and are supportive. They build their own dreams but together. All pleasure accompanied by singing, dancing, wonderful scenery and colours. Real life, however is not a dream. You need to pay your bills, for that you need a stable work – sometimes the work that you can hardly bear. Your daily life reminds you of your aspirations but also of your limits, failures, fatigue…

At one point Sebastian opts for playing the “compromise” music with a band that becomes enormously successful. Tours, photo shoots, girl-fans. Mia quits her barista job and starts to write. Her first one-man play is a disaster. Few people show up, moreover Sebastian misses the performance. The disappointment is big – she falls apart and decides not to continue auditions nor the loneliness in her relationship. He reaches for her one more time in order to give her strength for last audition that opens up her career but closes the relationship definitively. She goes to Europe and he continues touring around States. No happy end for the couple, if we do not consider the “I will always love you” they say to each other or the hint of “What If” rewind montage at the end of the film as happy ending.

So why did it work? I wept twice. First time when Emma Stone sang “The fools who dream” because she was so expressive that I felt the song words going right into my bloodstream. Then in the car when I drove back home. I pictured myself in my sort of “ok job”. No, less than ok job. It was ok maybe 6 months ago when I did partly things I liked – drafting, publishing. In the dark of the night I saw a girl behind a PC. She was clicking from one database to another, writing emails to help desk, receiving wrong answers, listening to people who come only to complain, going to training courses in order to master a new IT tool and I felt so hopeless. Her light and cheerful spirit fading. I try to cheer him up every day when I laugh about ridicule and impossible with my lovely colleagues. Or I laugh about myself being lost when checking outlook calendars. I was never good at scheduling anything in my life. So why should I excel in it at work? I could call it a challenge. But lately I am calling things by their proper name. It is a pain in the ass.

The film worked because my reality stood in front of me barefoot and my heart was filled with the music. I pictured Sebastian finally playing the piano in his own jazz bar and Mia (who happens to be in the bar by chance with her husband) watching him proudly with eyes full of tears. I hummed the melody of hope and resolution that life is too short to be spent in a comfort zone. In a place where everything seems to be perfect but it feels wrong. When the innermost voice tells you go…and try to do what you do best. Talk, lecture, help, guide, listen, comfort – tag words that come to my mind. Fulfilling dreams hurts. Not because we set impossible dreams but because we are afraid to risk. We are afraid to lose because what if we lose everything? What if the new start will be hard? It may be so but it is much worse not to give it a try and maybe never live the life we have always dreamt of.

To The Fools Who Dream

Composer: Justin Hurowitz, Lyricists: Justin Paul and Benj Pasek

My aunt used to live in Paris.
I remember, she used to come home and tell us these stories about being abroad and I remember she told us that she jumped into the river once, barefoot.

She smiled…

Leapt, without looking
And tumbled into the Seine
The water was freezing
She spent a month sneezing
But said she would do it again

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She captured a feeling
Sky with no ceiling
The sunset inside a frame

She lived in her liquor
And died with a flicker
I’ll always remember the flame

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She told me:
“A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
And that’s why they need us”

So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles
The painters, and poets, and plays

And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make

I trace it all back to then
Her, and the snow, and the Seine
Smiling through it
She said she’d do it again


2 thoughts on “Fulfilling dreams can hurt (La La Land).

  1. Hi Samuel,

    Thank you. It never occurred to me. I have also written a blog on Me Before You film. My blog is my vision of life – personal perception and once I write something I let it be. Maybe one day I will post somewhere else.


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