If I Stay (2014)- Film Review

Summer of 2014 is almost over but this doesn’t mean that the hits of the big screen have stopped coming.  Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a shy but extremely talented teen with a love for classical music. She feels as if she is an alien in her family of die-hard rock fans as she’d rather listen to Beethoven than Iggy Pop. Battling her way through high school and with dreams of a place at the prestigious school of Juillard, Mia doesn’t think of herself as anything extraordinary. Her life is turned upon its head when she meets Adam Wilde (Jamie Blackley), a headstrong rocker with a passion for life, love and music.  She is sent into a tailspin when it seems as if he is as curious about her as she is about him. Just when it seems as if things are finally falling into place for Mia, tragedy strikes. Mia is left with the most difficult decision of her life which makes choosing between Juillard on the East Coast and a life on the West Coast look like child’s play.

Despite her age, viewers have already seen Chloë Grace Moretz tackle the genres of horror, in Carrie (2013) and action in Kick-Ass (2010). 2014 sees Moretz embark on a lead role in the film adaptation of Gayle Forman’s 2009 novel, If I Stay. The role of Mia seemingly fits Moretz like a glove; her performance as the timid Mia Hall is simply spell-binding. She seamlessly slips into the role of this musical prodigy and the portrayal of her relationship between herself and Adam (Blackley) is hauntingly raw and realistic. The combined talent of Moretz and Blackley is breath-taking and ensures that the chemistry between them is honest,tender and moving. Blackley recorded and sang each of the songs he performs in the film with true soul and passion. Each minute of this 107 minute masterpiece is more enchanting than the last and the ending will leave you sobbing for more. Those who fell in love with Mia when reading Forman’s romantic drama will notice some minor differences, but the characters that they know and love have truly been brought to life in this compelling film adaptation.

'Live for Love'

‘If I Stay’ Film Poster

This devastatingly beautiful tale is matched with equally beautiful cinematography.  Notably, the shots which subtly illustrate the changing seasons allow the audience to see the time passing, as they accompany Mia on the most eventful months of her life. The delicate blend of tragedy and tenderness throughout the film is captivating and this is reinforced by the stunning soundtrack. Each track serves to serenade you as you fall in love with this bewitching tale of life, love and fate.

If your heart was captured by the quirky brilliance of The Perks of Being a Wallflower you’ll be sure to adore this remarkable romantic drama. If I Stay captures the romance of The Fault in Our Stars but with a supernatural twist which tugs at your heartstrings. The film illustrates the euphoria and heartache of young love without leaving a sickly sweet taste in your mouth.

This is more than just your typical tear-jerker; If I Stay is a definite must-see.

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