August Rush

There’s music in the wind and sky. Can you hear it? And there’s hope. Can you feel it? August Rush (Freddie Highmore), the little boy who is the protagonist of this movie, hears the music and is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. He feels it when the grass in the meadows ripple around him, he hears it when the train stops in the subway, and he knows it when it comes from a person’s heart. Similarly, the movie, which is poetry in motion, comes straight from the director’s heart. ‘I believe in music the way some people believe in fairy tales,’ August says. Open your heart and listen. You’ll believe in it too.

August Rush, first introduced as Evan Taylor, is an orphan who grows up in a children’s shelter where they want to knock the music out of him. He doesn’t want to let go of the music since he believes that if he sang it long enough his parents would surely hear him, and come and take him away. The movie then slowly fades into flashback mode when August’s parents fall in love on one night singing the “Moondance” together. A famous concert cellist named Lyla Novacek (Keri Russel) and Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), an Irish guitarist and lead singer of a rock band spend one romantic night together but due to an unfortunate twist of fate never see each other again. Little August who is convinced that his parents are out there looking for him, one day flees from his shelter and ventures into the heart of New York. The mystical connection that he has with music, this secret language that he shares with the Universe, guides him right into the lap of music. He lands up with “wizard” (Robin Williams), an old patriarchal crone who puts orphaned musically gifted children on the streets to earn his bread. From there on, it’s nothing but a journey filled with fantastical hurdles and treasure troves.

The thing that hits you the moment the movie begins is the beautiful background score. If your heart soars when you hear the chords and if you like being transported to another world when the music takes control of you, then this movie is for you. Not only is the soundtrack breathtaking, but the story itself is about music lovers. However, the film has many weak points in term of reality, timing and lack of time-space collusion. But if you have grown up on Bollywood, surely this is something you might want to ignore. I wont spoil the story for you but yes, if you are a bit of a realist and do not appreciate the magic and fantasy of Harry Potter, then you might as well give this a miss. However, the movie is a heart warming tale of three people who undertake a journey (of life) to emerge as better people and find their true calling.

In terms of cinematography, i.e., the element of camera angles and lighting: as, its just pure poetry in motion! The camera pans in and out at the right moments and the background is very stylishly urban. The characters are portrayed in a way that they can blend in with the crowd (except perhaps “wizard” with his weird hat!). The singers and musicians are very talented and the acting has been kept on a real level. No attempt at histrionics. However, one sore point is Robin Williams’ under utilization.

Still not a bad watch if you are one those people who are in love with feel good movies and don’t mind shedding a few tears in the process of getting there.

Warning: Be ready with some tissue paper. I cried through the whole movie.

Oindrila Duttagupta

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