By Darin Skaggs
Artistic freedom is a real struggle for Eve (Emily Browning), and that is not only because she is trapped in a hospital for her emotional troubles, it is because when creating or listening to music she feels free. This is apparent in the opening when Eve steps out of her hospital room window and begins to sing and Stuart Murdoch’s modern musical God Help The Girl begins.
While Eve is on her venture from the hospital she meets James (Olly Alexander) in a concert hall. Tired from all her problems she stays at his place, nothing happens, she heads back to a hospital full of worried and upset nurses. She meets up with James again and his friend Cassie (Hannah Murray) and the trio forms a band. Eve then struggles with keeping up with her health, friends and delving into her creative song writing skills.
Eve never really reveals her problems to her friends, she never gives into the nurse’s advice that they could help, she only expresses her troubles in the writing of her music. She never really feels alive, nevertheless awake, when she is not working on her art. Though as explained by a nurse, this is slowly crushing her because she is not taking care of herself or balancing the rest of what she needs to, like family, food and friends. It is a constant struggle for her happiness as she tries to find the right balance for her life.
And luckily the music she creates, or the songs she sings in the musical realm, are brilliant. They are poppy and cheerful. It is one of the best musicals to come out in a long while. There are references to other musicals as well, such as the dancing sequences pay homage to ones before it. It also reminds us what makes music, music; we have Eve who writes the lyrics, we have the group who has the chemistry to work together and complete with a giddy montage the group finds the people needed to play all the instruments. It not only helps Eve get through life it celebrates the whole music making process.
God Help The Girl is a poppy musical with a dark undertone. We get wonderful songs filled with dance sequences and fun shot scenes. It looks at an artist working through their troubles while trying to accomplish their goals. It also celebrates music in general in all melodic mastery.