Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"August Rush" {The Movie for Musically Addicted}

“August Rush” is one of those excellent, enigmatic and delightful movies that go usually unseen through the media ocean swamped with Hollywood abominations. The fact why I am stating this is because this is a 2007 release and stars some of my favorite actors like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Freddie Highmore and Robert Williams.

The movie deals with the small orphan Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore), who finds music in everything around him and believes if he plays long enough and listens hard enough to music he will find his parents. He is the offspring of a rock band lead singer Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and star cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russel), who meet for a night one stand and due to Lyla’s strict father miss each other and can’t reunite again. Lyla obviously pregnant decides to keep her baby, but when a car strikes her near her ninth month she gives birth while unconscious and her father gives the baby for adoption, while stating that the boy is dead. This for her is the moment she decides to leave the stage. The same happens to Louis as he finds no more satisfaction in music and decides to leave his band.

Freddie, already sure of his ability to follow music, travels from his orphanage to New York to find his parents. This transition doesn’t run so smoothly and he ends up joining a band of musically gifted children, who inhabit an abandoned theatre and play for money on the streets. This crew is led by the Wizard (Robin Williams), who makes Evan his star player after discovering the latter is a music prodigy, who learned to play the guitar in innovative ways in one night. There he assumes the artistic pseudonym August Rush. Being the Wizard’s protégé is tiring and unsatisfying, so August rush runs away and happens upon a church, which accepts him into its mission. One day there he composes a complex piece for the church organ and deemed extremely talented he is enrolled into the Julliard School for musically gifted. In the end we learn how he is chosen to perform on the summer concert in Central Park.

In the meantime Lyla learns from her father, what he had done and embarks on a quest to find her son’s identity. Meanwhile she decides to resume her music career and play right before her son in the said above concert. Louis is confronted with his miserable life without music and once again aspires to make it in the music business with his band and has a chance meeting with Evan in New York. Needless to say that when Evan’s turn comes to present his symphony, his music touches the souls of his parents, who finally find him.

I probably killed the excitement about this movie with such a detailed synopsis, but the story although fresh and innovative, I think doesn’t quite contribute to the full experience of the movie. However one must account the brilliant play of Freddie Highmore, one of the youngest actors in the industry with amazing talent and extraordinary air of serenity around him. As we can recall he received quite the collection of awards for his role of Peter in “Finding Neverland” the biographical movie J.M. Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is just Jonathan Rhys Meyers and nothing needs to be said more. Movies like “Elvis”, “Matchpoint” and the TV series “The Tudors” speak of his diversity to incorporate different characters and to that I add the striking features of his face. I am not familiar with Keri Russel apart from her role in the TV drama series “Felicity”, but it seems she has made a path of her own in the movie industry. Robin Williams, I found the best man for the job to portray such a kooky character as the Wizard and we all are undoubtedly familiar with his comedic genius.

Apart from the successful casting we have the main idea of the movie, which is how music connects people and how people respond to music. This is the aspect that will make people either love this movie or simply don’t care, since music today is stuck in a very immoral rut, speaking of sweaty bodies and different sweets used in quite the context. Of course I am not the one to judge as I listen to those songs every now and then. The thing about this movie is that we are shown a creative soul following his instincts regarding one of the most amazing forms of art in the world. Apart from the idea that a person can find people with music, we are left to the magic of the spellbinding soundtracks.

In the end I think this is one of the strongest movies I have watched in quite a while, a rare find these days. You like music so much that you listen to it around 90% of your time awake? Then this is a must have!

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