They met on night when the magic of music was at play. He was the lead singer of an Irish rock band and she was a concert cellist. After a night of performances, they attend the same party and in an effort to escape the madness of it, Lyla withdraws to the roof where she finds Louis, perched high on a wall. Listening to the strains of a street musician’s rendition of Moondance they fall in love – with the moon, the music and each other.
After a night together, they plan on meeting, but Lyla is prevented from keeping to the commitment by her career driven, controlling father. When she learns she’s pregnant she has no way of contacting Louis. She meets with a car accident one evening after a fight with her father. He sends the premature baby to an orphanage and tells her the baby died, when she regains consciousness.
Broken, she gives up playing the cello. And Louis oblivious and broken hearted as well, leaves the band, despairing that there was no use playing because Lyla will never hear it and find him.
Concurrently narrated is the story of Evan Taylor, their child, living 11 years later in an orphanage. A musical prodigy who can hear notes and tunes in the mundane cacophony of everyday life, nursing the belief that his parents are alive and trying to communicate with him through the music. “The music is all around us.” He says, “All you have to do, is listen.” So he listens, resolving to find them one day.
He escapes the orphanage one night and “followed the music” to New York, hoping to solicit the help of a social worker who promised to help him if ever in need. But chance and circumstance drop him in the hands of The Wizard, a cunning street musician who finds and exploits the talent of young, homeless musical geniuses to earn money.
Yet, Evan does not give up and when Lyla finds out he is alive, neither does she. It’s the story of the journey of a boy to find the parents he believes never stopped searching for him, a mother who never stopped loving her son, and man who never stopped believing that the girl he met one night under the moon, was the love of his life.
The movie is the epitome of happiness. Freddie Highmore’s acting is pure, innocent and natural. He charms and enchants and the movie neither gets boring nor clichéd.
The storyline is proliferated with Good Samaritans leading to inevitable conclusions, yet it does not get stereotypical. There’s an abundance of coincidence, but its not cheesy.
The appeal lies in the simplicity of the story, the incredible acting and most of all the magic of the music. Several performances throughout that astound as well as the culmination of all brilliance in the August Rhapsody, an achingly beautiful orchestral piece, astounding in its associations and heart-warming in its origins.
The movie simply ignites benevolence and love in a person and highlights the beauty music possesses. How music has the ability to connect people who are miles apart. How music transcends all barriers and is omnipotent.
No, there may not be any subliminal moral lesson to draw from it, or an epiphany to take away. The beauty of August Rush is the music and the power of love and the magnetism of both that combine to draw the fragmented family together and to leave viewers tearing up in happiness. If not for anything else, watch it for that.
This review is by Samira Mathias.
The link to her blog is: www.chasingutopia.me