Millie (Danielle Macdonald) is living her best life. She’s in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Charlie (Shazad Latif), and has a well-paid job working full time as a fund manager. After Millie spends an evening at the Opera, something inside her sparks and a new desire is birthed. When Millie is offered a promotion at her work, she respectfully declines, deciding instead to take leave for a year and pursue a life as an opera singer. Her boyfriend and co-workers are stunned by Millie’s sudden new life choice.
Packing her things and travelling to the Scottish Highlands, Millie contacts Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (Joanna Lumley), a retired opera singer who works as a vocal trainer. At first, Meghan has no interest in taking on another student, but naturally, she changes her mind when Millie offers to pay a high price for each lesson. Soon Millie begins her training and discovers there is a lot to learn when it comes to fulfilling her dream. Meghan’s teaching method is quite harsh, blunt, and rude, which Millie finds unexpected. Thankfully, she soon meets a fellow student, Max (Hugh Skinner), who is also under Meghan’s teaching. Max has his own challenges with singing, but naturally, they share a common dream and interest. Can Millie and Max push through and work hard to achieve their dreams?
Falling for Figaro is best described as a feel-good drama film with some little comedic moments. Granted, one’s enjoyment of the comedic elements could vary depending on your taste in gags. It’s a touching story about following your dreams to find joy, even if it means risking a great career and being distant from the ones you love for a lengthy period. While it’s a story and plot that isn’t overly new, the addition of Millie trying to become an opera singer is a welcomed aspect for those who love music and the art of singing.
Millie seeking new goals in her life is enjoyable and encouraging to see on-screen, as is the way she pushes herself to keep going no matter the challenge. However, Millie as a character isn’t always likeable, and I can’t deny I found her to be fickle. I even found her somewhat selfish and vague at certain moments, especially regarding the major life choices she makes and her romance with her current partner. Predictably, Millie has moments that draw her closer to Max, causing them to question if a new romantic connection is brewing which is a nice added element.
The performances here are great, with Danielle Macdonald as Millie being believable, delivering a character who is passionate, determined, and eager to do well. Joanna Lumley as Meghan is a major highlight here, serving many touching and (depending on the viewer) comedic moments. Her cranky ways of teaching are both surprising and give greater depth to her character, including her past, which seems vague. Hugh Skinner as Max is also great here. Still, I can’t deny Max has several moments which seem somewhat childish, especially whenever he receives feedback or doesn’t get his way. There’s a jealous tone with this character that can make the film feel almost like a teenage drama.
Overall, for those who enjoy a feel-good drama that reminds the world to follow their dreams no matter the hurdles, this is one for you. Sure, the premise isn’t overly new, but I did enjoy the film’s musical aspect thrown into the mix. Performances are generally fine, but some characters’ choices may be slightly erratic or vague. I found the level of comedy enjoyable, but I feel it will also be subjective to its audience, like the taste of listening to amazing Opera. It’s light-hearted, pleasing and most certainly worth a look for those wanting a film that leaves you feeling highly encouraged.