Verdict: 3 / 5
Song One is a featherweight indie film and the driving theme behind the film is that music brings people together.
Novice Director / Writer, Kate Barker-Froyland formulated a gentle, subtle and introspective story to portray how music can transform, repair and build new relationships. The film starts off as an emotional thought provoking drama but, unfortunately, it loses momentum and dissipates. But don’t let that stop you. If you’re a hopeless romantic then the film is worth the watch.
The film starts off in Morocco with Franny (Anne Hathaway) an anthropologist that has to drop everything because she received news that her brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield) was involved in a car accident and has fallen into a coma. Franny is heart-broken and to make things worse she hasn’t spoken to her brother for months because he decided to quit school and pursue music as a career. Franny soon finds Henry’s journal and makes it her mission to rediscover who he is. Franny goes to the places where he enjoys spending time and quickly learns what he likes. She discovers that Henry is a great musician that draws his inspiration from James Forester (Johnny Flynn). She reaches out to James hoping that he would listen to Henry’s mix tape. This sparks a tender romance between James and Franny.
It’s always pleasant to see Anne Hathaway on screen. She brings emotional weight and a glee of hope into a gloomy emo screenplay. Her performance definitely saved the movie. While Flynn, who portrays James, a local musician comes across as very shallow, insincere and untheatrical. The narrative is compelling and unpredictable which makes interesting to watch. However they film ends very abruptly. I understand that the director was trying to create a simple love story that does end but it did leave me feeling unsatisfied. The supporting characters are flat and the plot is fragile which notably dips towards the end of the film.
An outstanding element throughout the film is the music composition. The music is so beautifully constructed for every scene that it actually overrides the narrative. The appealing cinematography definitely created the right mood for the film but unfortunately, the hollow narrative brought the score down for this film.