I am way too cynical for August Rush. Ooh, I can hear music and it's going to reunite me with my family. Screw you. Get a life. Be proactive and productive.
Movie Review: August Rush
August Rush is the tale of an orphan (Freddie Highmore) spawned from a young cellist (Keri Russell) and a rocker (Jonathan Rhys Meyers.) Her A-hole father keeps the lovebirds apart and signs the baby away. Venturing the streets of New York City on his own, the boy takes his confusing name and has many musical adventures while his parents move closer and closer together.
Since this is a cliché fantasy, everything happens in types, not characters or moments. Bullies are mean to the orphan for no other reason but he needs to have mean people around. The romantic rooftop talk is so fake. If I told some chick I was talking to the moon, she'd say, "Nice line, try someone else."
The guy from child services gives the orphan his private phone number. That's the level of storytelling we're operating on here. It's not just unreality, it's unfantasy too. Even in fiction, people aren't that kindly.
The story is told in flashbacks to make sure all the stars get seen within the first act, not for any natural storytelling reasons. And how'd this kid get out of the orphanage on his own?
I'm no music expert. My favorite performer is Meat Loaf and I've hated everything that came out of American Idol, but this music all sounds generic to me. That street noise nonsense is just Stomp about a decade too late, and other typical guitar strums, concerto strings, organ clatter and gospel harmonies.
I don't exactly fault any of the filmmakers or performers for this. They set out to make a certain type of movie and that's exactly what they did. Keri Russell is real and heartfelt in her pleas for her son. Robin Williams is edgy and full of personality.
The one thing I hope parents take from August Rush is that all that meddling doesn't work. The dad forbade the romance, stole the kid and his baby just gave up music out of depression. So stop doing what you think you know best and just let people live their lives!