Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August Rush

It is August, after all. I watched the Oscar-nominated film "August Rush" last weekend. Twice. They say there are only two reactions to the film, either you will love it, or you will get bored with it. I belonged to the first category.

Spoiler warning here, as I write a bit of reaction to the movie. The theme is the power of music, and how it brings together people who listen to it. August Rush is the screen name of a young boy from the orphanage who grew up listening to the beat of his own music, literally. He could stand in the middle of the road and hear the humming of electric cables. He could conduct an orchestra out of wind chimes. He was able to write music at a very young age.

Magical and mystical, the film unwraps like a play, with the audience in willing suspension of disbelief. I suspended mine because I wanted to see the world as Evan, or August, did. He just followed his heart and out came the music that was given to him. In writing down the music, he was just giving it back, he said, to the ones who gave it to him.

The movie is set in New York City and it is obvious that its creators had such love for their city, for the setting itself was a character in the movie. It provided the perfect background, although this was a different NYC probably than the one featured in "Sleepless in Seattle", "An Affair to Remember", or any of those Armageddon-type movies. This NYC played a rhapsody so beautiful and powerful that it reunited Evan with his loved ones.

Some lines in the film were memorable. The cellist said she wanted to play again, after eleven years, because she felt her son could hear her somehow.

The poet-rockstar returned to the concert stage to sing of the love he met one moonlit night, and to call her back to him again.

And the boy touched many lives - from street performers to choir members, from policemen to pastors. His gift stunned Julliard professors. His music inspired thousands.

I sat on a bed watching it on my Macbook and cried for about half the movie. I have not cried like that over a film in a long time. Perhaps it is the boy's faith. Perhaps it is his determination to fulfill his purpose in life. Perhaps it is the beauty of seeing a human soul becoming what he was meant to be. Perhaps it is the love that I have stopped believing in.

This August, rush to your favorite DVD suki and buy a copy of this touching movie. Prepare to face your own dreams, and prepare to be filled with hope that they will come true, if you will keep believing, and if you keep doing what you are called to do.

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