Monday, September 14, 2009

August Rush

I saw August Rush during the last few days of my stay in Manila. I watched it at dawn because I couldn't seem to sleep, I was too wrapped up in watching movies after a self-imposed.. "diet". :-p

I thought it was something like that Brad Pitt movie Sleepers in the beginning, because of the Boys Town effect of the start... It was a good thing I waited, because the movie was quite good, and very entertaining. It was whimsical, because it was about a boy who used his prodigious talent for music to do the impossible...find his musician parents who were separated 11 years ago. His dad was a rock musician who left at the peak of his career after feeling that his music had lost its meaning after losing a girl he only met once. His mom was a Julliard-trained cellist who got pregnant and was made to believe that her child had died when she met an accident.

And if that wasn't enough...he didn't even know their names, or what they looked like. He absolutely had no clue as to who they were. All he believed in was that, if he could learn how to play music, he'd be able to make himself his "lost" parents would hear it, and would know where to find him.

He then runs away and finds himself with Robin Williams' ragtag band of child musicians, an underground money-collecting scheme he dreamed up, in exchange for a place to sleep and live in in an abandoned theater. Evan, the boy, began to display an uncanny knack for learning how to play instruments and composing. Robin Williams' character attempted to make money out of him by having him play in clubs, using August Rush as his performing name. Evan somehow escaped and found himself in a church where he learned the basics of composing in the morning and ended up playing the pipe organ majestically by the end of the day...

This prompted an acceptance into Julliard, where his exceptional music skills astounded the professors and his musical work, inspired by the sounds he heard all around him was chosen as the piece to be performed in the Concert at the Park, a prestigious event which was attended by a great number of people. (It was cute of him to ask his professors naively, "Will there be more than a hundred people watching? His professors smiled and said that he need not worry, there will be thousands there.)

His plan to conduct his own symphony was almost waylaid when Robin Williams reappeared in the scene, posing as his father and proceeded to take him back to the streets. Serendipitously, August's dad comes up and chats with him, and they then have a guitar duel, playing so well and in sync with each other, unknowingly because they share the same stupendous musical skills.

The video clip above, of them jamming in the park is one of my favorites in the movie..the other being that of the finale, that final climactic moment when everything comes together, after the universe has "effectively conspired" to bring August, his cellist mother and rockstar father to that magical night in the park where they found each other again.

The music would swell and I'd find myself in tears all over again...because it was so sad at first, then because of his little victories and then finally, because he got the thing that he had been searching for so earnestly.

This clip is the performance of August's Rhapsody, which he composed and played that night. (No words were spoken in the last few scenes, but oh my, their faces spoke volumes, their mouths, eyes and hands communicated that love was victorious, and everything had fallen into place. Louis found his long-lost love Lyla, Lyla, in turn, found Louis, a man she thought she would never see again, the father of son she thought she had lost so many years ago, and August...dear August Rush, who never stopped believing...

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