Not every love story sees a happy ending. And not every break-up has to be dramatic. And these two lines are brought to life in an exquisitely painful fashion in the 2016 Damien Chazelle directorial La La Land. Despite the movie’s title, the depiction of both love and life in the feature is anything but ‘dreamy.’
In one particular sequence, where Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) have to part ways owing to their different career choices and ambitions, the two make the whole affair look deeply painful, ‘this’ despite the lack of melodrama. What we instead see is two loving and mature individuals take a difficult call.
Mia has just given an audition and it looks like her goal of becoming an actress might bear some fruition at last. Sebastian, being the supportive partner that he is, asks her to do what she thinks is right, nudging her to pursue her lifelong dream. Before commenting on the view before them nonchalantly, the pair say “I am always gonna love you” to each other, a heartbreaking sentence which marks the end of their sweet partnership.
The sequence works wonderfully as it manages to evoke that signature melancholic sigh usually associated with such moments. While Ryan is in form, it is Emma’s face which gives away the pain of the farewell, which says ‘this is the end.’
The part ‘heartachy’ and part matter-of-fact tone that the act takes is what makes it stand out in the crowd.
Those wishing a rewatch, can stream La La Land on YouTube.