I waited for quite a while until I was emotionally ready before watching this tearjerker. I remembered crying over the novel (for my book review, read it here) and I expected to wail some more in this adaptation. I certainly did!
The novel was meant for a film medium. It’s easier to imagine a near-death experience POV complete with flashbacks in movie format than in text, even if the book did successfully achieve that. The story was made richer by its visual adaptation because the producers decided to add the audio element! Being in a relationship with a rock band member needs real good music, and I loved the OST so much that I got a copy of the album. Thank you so much, Heitor Pereira (motion picture scorer/musical director)! Actor Jamie Blackley, the guy who plays Adam, has an old rock band called Shooting Star that was revived just for the movie and was renamed Willamette Stone after the famous landmark in Oregon, the location of the story. Boy, were they good! They have a total of 6 tracks, where each song has its own flavor or music genres you’ll be reminded of.
“I Want What You Have” is the first song that will hook you with its distinct guitar riffs, the riffs that drew Mia to Adam as he was playing and singing this for his gig.
“Never Coming Down” is the most upbeat band track, a rock tune that’s a bit like Green Day!
“Mind” is a cute crush song that sounds like a Gin Blossoms and Foo Fighters mash-up.
“I Never Wanted To Go” is a bonus track. It’s unfinished in the movie, and this song served as Adam’s going-away hymn because Mia wanted to apply for Julliard. LDRs are really sucky things, eh?
“Today” was a very pleasant surprise because it is an acoustic remake (with cello) of this Smashing Pumpkins hit song. I picked a YouTube video that showed a snippet of the movie for context.
“Heart Like Yours” is the perfect song that builds up the emotional climax. By this time, my eyes are so puffy from crying because it is a sweet, heartfelt ballad sung with hope during Mia’s crucial moments of deciding whether to live or let go. Apart from the wonderful and youthful Willamette Stone songs, old rock bands like Beck and Sonic Youth have been chosen for the soundtrack. Super cool.
I know I talked mostly of the music instead of the storyline, but I’d like to say that the music MADE the movie. I didn’t discuss much about Chloe Moretz’s Bach and Beethoven classical cello solos because they sound familiar to most. It was Mia and Adam’s journey with music that accompanied their blossoming young love. The story’s pretty straightforward, but because the film is challenging mortality with the concept of transcendence, there are no themes more apt than just to focus on music and love.