La La Land and Endurance

Well, it just feels like only yesterday we welcomed the New Year of 2023 but in the blink of an eye, we are in the last leg of 2023. Too many issues, occasions, and challenges passed by so quickly and some are still in progress.

Apparently, I got reminded of Sarah J. Maas, a famous writer who said, ‘If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything’. And we all know that 16 November 2023 is celebrated as the ‘International Day for Endurance’. Thus, it would be significant to pause for a while and reflect on ourselves.

Swiftly, I remembered my all-time favorite – La La Land. It has been six years since the movie was released and also since I actually cried in the cinema for a movie climax that was not at all sad where I was able to reflect the importance of endurance and perseverance in life.

Having grown up watching numerous Bollywood movies, a musical movie filled with drama is not something out of the box for me. I became connected so much to its themes that evolved around a bunch of phenomena apart from sensible and modern romantic love. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone played the characters to perfection. And Stone winning an Oscar for her performance just shows how well she brought the character Mia to life! The story is basically a one-liner: a boy meets a girl, and they fall in love, but they do not end up together. However, the themes explored in the movie are complex. There is this love track that blossoms beautifully only to fall victim to the test of time. Then, there is a whole arc about how you should pursue your passion and stay loyal to your dreams – endurance. There is also this theme of acceptance. And somewhere along the movie, it even shows us how important it is to marry the right person!

On some rainy days, all I want to do is curl up on my sofa with comfort food in hand and embark on the magical journey of music, laughter, and cries for the millionth time. I’ll have the biggest smile on my face watching the scene where Mia runs on the streets of Los Angeles to Sebastian in her green dress. And that one particular scene, at the Planetarium never fails to make me cry no matter how many times I have watched the movie. I love La La Land because it taught me that just because something does not go according to the script, it does not mean that it is going to end up terrible. Everything works out in the end with a little bit of patience and acceptance. Failures are as important as achievements. It reminds me to stay true to myself and my goals no matter what. Also, I learned that there are things that you can tolerate while there might come some moments where you just have to drop something or someone and never turn back. As the popular fiction and non-fiction writer, Deborah Reber claimed, “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”

At the end of the day, La La Land has taught me that we will always share an emotional relationship with life, love, and dreams. To those who would like to watch this absolute gem of a film, I should warn you that it will definitely pull your heartstrings – but in all the right ways. This movie is truly for all the tricks who dream!





Sarala Thulasi Palpanadan, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of English Language and Linguistics
Centre for Language Studies
Chief Editor
Development in Language Study (DILS) Periodical
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)

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