Indie Gaze: Once (2007)

A Heart Warming honest film which needs to be watched more than once.

Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance 2007. A fresh new Irish movie made with non-actors and a simple story which might just be the best musical film of our generation. Its not a blockbuster, it has no big names, with a small budget and yet delivers so much more . It is what I would call a mini masterpiece.

Glen Hansard plays a street musician at night and repairs vacuum cleaners at night. Markéta Irglová plays a Czech immigrant who sells magazines and flowers on the street(her day job is cleaning houses).

Naturally enough, they meet, and there’s a definite chemistry between them. The music plays out as another narrative device in the story. It turns out that the young woman was an accomplished pianist and singer. Together they decide to take on a singular musical journey. But this world of music begins to show cracks. Both of them have previous attachments. The plot of the movie deals with the way they work out their lives in view of their circumstances and their commitments.

Both the actors are really good at what they do that is performing. Their passion for music is definitely different and they don’t talk about their music but instead go about playing it. The music is really touching like the characters themselves. Every note and key played by them is so true and honest. They are non-actors, but what they give to this movie is something truly remarkable. The guitar which Glen Hansard uses is so beaten and torn up that you just can’t imagine he succeeded in whatever he did(by the way he uses the same guitar in real life). The soundtrack like I said adds another dimension to this film. Seeing this movie one will not look at how the movie was directed or how the cinematography is as the characters keep you engaged the full 75mins and at the end of it you will feel just great.

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I just wish the movie was distributed better as it is extremely universal in its theme. Its a definite must watch. I suggest you stream this one Amazon Prime Video for what it is worth. This one is a keeper.


Founder/Creator of Talking Films. Created Talking films back in 2009 and has been an ardent cinema lover for the past 2 decades.


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