Friday, December 30, 2011

Swell Season - Movie Review

The Swell Season (NR) 90 Minutes B
The Anatomy of a Break-up

Starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

During the chaos that is my December, I saw this film weeks ago and forgot to post my review.  Swell Season is part musical doc, part break-up story.  As good as the music is in this film, all anyone really wants to know is, "what happened?"  Bandmates Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova seemed so perfect for each other.  Those who saw the 2007 classic, Once, would agree.  But The Swell Season is the amicable and subdued account of their quiet break-up. 

Ironically, these two fell victim to the very lyrics they so passionately sing.  There's no bad guy, and no one to blame.  Yet, as I watched the film it was apparent that Hansard was not completely present with Irglova.  While, she seemed a bit too submissive and occasionally misplaced (I never thought about their age difference until this film).  All of these things, and different approaches to fame, eventually ate away at their union.  The couple that once seemed so rocknroll perfect, were suddenly real, with real problems, and a real ending. 

This is a good film that is better if you are familiar with Hansard and Irglova.  It is a musical documentary that can't escape undertones of sadness.  When the closing credits rolled, everyone walked out of this one as quiet as a pack of church mice.

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