Not so swell – The Swell Season review

The Swell Season - Directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis. Rated M. Originally published August 2, 2011. By Simon Miraudo.

The Swell Season arrives on DVD in Australia June 27, 2012.

The Swell Season follows Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová – the talented musicians who starred in the indie hit Once, began dating on the film’s press circuit, and then won an Oscar for Best Original Song – as they tour the world under the moniker of, you guessed it, The Swell Season. Whereas Once ended with our two star-crossed lovers parting ways despite truly being in love with one another, this new documentary plays much like an extended alternate ending – although if you’re hoping this is the ending where Hansard and Irglová end up together for good, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed once more.

The 41-year-old Guy and the 23-year-old Girl (to compare them again to their ‘unnamed’ characters from Once)called it quits after enduring the strain of their endless concerts and sudden stardom. That directors Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis were on hand to capture their dissolution was both lucky, and, in a more human sense, rather unfortunate (especially for those of us who care so deeply for this relationship as it was depicted in the previous semi-autobiographical film). Ultimately, The Swell Season plays like an even-more-earnest sequel to Once – complete with plenty of new concert footage – which will surely be music to the ears of diehard fans. To everyone else, not so much.

2.5/5

Check out Simon’s other reviews here.

The Swell Season arrives on DVD in Australia June 27, 2012.

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