August Rush Reviews
The only real problem I have with this is the same problem I have with any movie where the main character composes something that's supposed to be "amazing" or "transcendent". You see, the people making the original music for the movie never live up to the task. Every time, in any movie like this, from Mr. Holland's Opus to American Pie: Band Camp, the final composition is a let down. While it's not bad this time, it's also hardly good enough to warrant the attention the characters in the movie give it.
That's a shame because it is, and always has been, fairy tales that most nourish the soul and give breath to our feelings. Fairy tales teach lessons about possibilities that that can lift the spirit.
August Rush asks to believe in impossible coincidences, and we know these do happen. This tale brings light to a particular darkness about people that don't have families and suggests that for some there is still the possibility of finding a family. That seems like a noble enough cause.
Is our age so exhausted of belief that we can't be allowed to enjoy a simple pleasure in a person who can bring people who love each other together through music?
There is also an amazing thing which happens when we deeply connect to our own soul, as August does in the movie. Real magic happens here.
Loved it = I'm a sucker for this kind of story. The romance and lost child angle speaks to my heart right from the beginning. The fact that they all have this bond through music (that speaks to them in some way) works for me as well. It had potential to create a dramatically emotional conclusion, if they didn't decide to end it a bit early. I also like all the main cast members because they seem to have similar traits which make the relationships feel authentic. Finally, most of the music in the film is delightful, and it sells some of the aspects that otherwise wouldn't work for me.
Hated it = Listen, I like Robin Williams as much as anyone, but his character in August Rush is terrible. Every single scene he is in makes me want to turn the film off. His pseudo Fagin's Gang is ridiculous, and adds nothing to this story. Out of nowhere Williams becomes this manufactured obstacle for August, as if there wasn't enough for him to overcome. I also struggled with the movie's story structure. It didn't flow smoothly at times, and totally failed to give a proper perspective on the passage of time. If you told me the events of the film took place over only 5 days I would almost believe you.
Undecided on it = I'm all for movies about the magic of music, but August Rush might have taken it a bit too far. I like when a story embraces the ethereal power music can have, but some of the stuff it does for these characters seems so far-fetched. The fact that August is a prodigy makes sense, but could he really learn to read and write music in a matter of one afternoon? Is it possible for even the greatest natural musician to play a song as complex as he does the first time he ever lays a hand on a guitar? If I could just go with the magic and turn off my logical brain it might work.
I probably enjoyed August Rush more than it deserved. It's a flawed film, but there was something in it that I found myself embracing. I didn't love it, because of those aspects that bothered me, but I'd gladly watch it again and perhaps it will start growing on me.