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August Rush
Review written on: March 10th, 2008

August Rush Review

I had wanted to see August Rush when I saw the trailer. It has three things in it that I enjoy: music, Keri Russell, and Robin Williams. That alone was enough to sell me. And the fact that the trailer looked pretty good got me interested. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to see it in the theater, and forgot all about it until I started doing some DVD release date scheduling for the site. So, I took the opportunity to check out a pre-release copy of the DVD.

I’ll start the review by cutting right to the chase. August Rush is an absolutely fabulous movie. It’s endearing, heart warming, and brilliant. I’m not sure if I just connected with the movie, because I absolutely love music, or if I really just loved the movie. Either way, there were very few things in the movie that I didn’t like.

The story is a simple one. Lyla is a cellist. Louis is a rocker. They meet, and have one night together. She becomes pregnant, and he never knows. Her father whisks her away to do some more shows, and gets upset when he finds out she’s pregnant. She storms out of the restaurant, and gets hit by a car. Her father tells her that she lost the baby, when in reality, he forged her signature and gave the baby up for adoption.
The movie is the story of Evan (“August Rush,” played by Freddie Highmore) trying to find his long lost parents. He “follows the music” to get back to them, knowing that they’ll find each other, if only he can learn to play music. It turns out that Evan is a musical genius, and can play virtually any instrument he touches, which defintely helps him get on the right track to finding his parents.

The story is touching, and sweet. The ending is happy. The acting is wonderful. The biggest surprise is the musical composition for the film. Not only is there an original score written for the film, but the way it’s done is breathtaking. In each scene where Lyla and Louis are playing separately in their respective environments, the music overlaps, combining his rock with her classical, and it’s simple beautiful. Each song was put together in a way that I’ve never seen before, and it was inspiring.

My only complaint, as with all music-type movies, is that the music is never 100% accurate. Being a musician, I always spot the places where the actor isn’t “”really playing,”” and it sort of annoys me. I’m sure it’s tough to edit a film to make people appear to know how to play an instrument, when they don’t. I understand that. But in a big budget Hollywood film, I’m sure an extra couple bucks to hire someone who does know what they’re doing, to ensure things look right, wouldn’t hurt any. Don’t get me wrong, the actors do a good job of convincing you that they know what they’re doing, it’s just not perfect. Being a musician, I wasn’t convinced. Since the movie was so brilliant, I overlooked it.

I’d watch this movie again in a heartbeat. I’d gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a great movie, with a happy ending. There’s no surprise ending. There are no twists or turns. There’s no witty dialog. There’s no profanity or explosions. And I still liked it. That says a lot about a movie. As soon as this comes out on DVD tomorrow, I’ll gladly go purchase a copy, just to support the people who made the film. Absolutely fantastic.

 

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