We Need Moonlight More Than La La Land

Pop Culture

We Need Moonlight More Than La La Land

Illustration: Akshita Monga


could not stop texting friends, colleagues, family, everyone, anyone as I rushed out of the theatre after watching La La Land. I’d seen many great films prior to La La Land, but none had broken through as keenly as it. As this website wrote a few months ago, “La La Land is soaring and dazzling and gorgeous and all the adjectives that reviewers across the world have employed for it. But more than anything it is a romantic dinosaur, lush with a kind of pure feeling that does not seem to exist anymore.”

Despite the issues that purists had with the creative liberties the film has taken with jazz and musicals, mostly owing to our collective culture’s love for backlash, the film left whoever I spoke to with a warm and fuzzy heart, and a yearning to go back to times when love was simpler. And so this year it might win Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards, especially because it’s the polar opposite of the emotional state bestowed upon us by Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, the only real contender to the Damien Chazelle musical. Where you wish La La Land would go on long after the end, you can’t wait to get out of the theatre’s oversized chair after Moonlight, feeling a claustrophobic shiftiness to run out and breathe.