Begin Again

Darah Dung
Professional model and actress

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I saw the movie with my mom, Annette Dung, and my fellow music-loving and songwriting friends at Kahala Theatres. It’s a rarity that we get to go to the movies together.


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Begin Again

Overall what did you think?

I loved it because I come from a music-loving family. My mom said she sang to us when we were still in her womb! We have been singing together for as long as I can remember, and some of my favorite childhood memories are of my family gathered around my auntie’s roller piano singing Sweet Caroline or The Rainbow Connection while my brother Dean played the guitar. Overall I thought it was an inspiring movie about following your dreams and staying true to who you are. I also like the idea of being in the right place at the right time, and meeting the people who are meant to come into your life in those special moments. I believe that we are all exactly where we are for a reason.

What was one of your favorite scenes?

I liked the montage of the musicians coming together and making magic in the iconic landmarks of the city that never sleeps. Creating the lead female’s (Keira Knightley) album showcased passion, teamwork and drive. She may have been a little inspired by heartbreak, but there is always a reason for everything. Sometimes we need to feel pain before we can understand and appreciate happiness. Each one of us grows from our interactions and relationships with others. What we do in the face of adversity builds character.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?


What did you think of the cinematography?

It was very raw, but it matched the movie because it showcased raw talent and very earthy, real-life drama. It highlighted so much of what New York has to offer. It’s one of my family’s favorite cities and is a backdrop for whatever creative avenues you want to take. New York is so unique and liberating. The energy I experience there is always inspiring and has no limits.

Was the message/theme clear?

I loved how Keira Knightly’s character Greta pursued her passion for songwriting, but always stayed true to herself and her intentions. Regardless of being down and out, Mark Ruffalo’s character didn’t stray from what he believed in either. I find it inspiring when people know exactly who they are, are comfortable in their own skin, and don’t compromise their values or character, regardless of what is happening around them.

Did it remind you of any other works of film?

It reminded me of Jerry Maguire, which was actually referenced in one of the early scenes. It also reminded me of one of my favorite movies Rudy, where he never lost sight of his dreams and never gave up hope, even in the face of enormous adversity.

Who would you recommend this movie to?

I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves music, songwriting, romantic comedies, Mark Ruffalo and Kiera Knightley. I also think anyone who loves storytelling, being entertained, and witnessing the underdog becoming a success would enjoy this film.

Did you identify with any characters?

Keira Knightly’s character Greta was a heroine whom I identified with because she’s resilient, creative, hopeful, straightforward and loving, all characteristics that the most important women in my life possess.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

I’m still modeling and acting, and occasionally appear as a guest on my sister’s show The Pet Hui to help animals get adopted into loving homes. We love helping others, so my sisters (Denby and Dana-Li) and I got together with some of our friends to “clean our closets” by selling and donating our clothing and accessories and giving to our favorite charities and organizations. Next year, we’ll be sponsoring a prom makeover for a deserving teen who has made a difference in her community. You can get more info at