August Rush

June 4, 2008
By
At first glance, most people would label August Rush as just another family tear-jerker. Perhaps it’s America’s love of innocent and deprived British orphans that sparks sympathy in movie viewers. Whatever the reason, the musical family drama was a mediocre movie.
The leading man (boy rather) is played by none other than modern Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Freddie Highmore. Although he made a brilliant performance, practically gift-wrapping the twelve-year-old girl audience for Southpaw Entertainment, his natural English accent does not make sense for the role. Throughout the entire shamelessly sentimental film, I could only focus on why the lead role, which supposedly had lived in the same NY orphanage his entire life, had an English accent.
Performances by leading members of the beautiful people jet set, Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, made the film inspiringly heart-wrenching. It was hard not to be, when this reaction was unabashedly attempted by the film makers at an annoying rate. The main plot is about a clichéd British orphan who runs away from his orphanage to find his absent parents.
Throughout these scenes are random sparks of repetitive jazz music that supposedly make the character August Rush a musical prodigy. I settled on the mute button but you can try fast forward if you’d rather. All August seems to do throughout the entire flick is improperly confuse a guitar with an African drum.
If the one and only scene of Meyers and Highmore playing music together does not make you want to scream at your television with determination to make the actors aware that they are father and son, then the entire movie will be a dull two hours. By not yelling during the best scene in the entire film, it may prove you are not easily moved and probably not a target audience. But over all the suspense, the shot of Russell looking hideous on a hospital bed is definitely the biggest surprise. Performance over beauty definitely gives her at least a “B” for the film.
One thing that must be said about this movie, however, is the fact that almost every character is simultaneously ingenious and insane, most notably “Wizard,” who is played by the “too good to be bad” Robin Williams. His act as the orphan children’s manipulative boss is unbelievable. Highmore labels him “crazy.”
The behind the scenes credit goes to Kirsten Sheridan who directed the film and Richard Barton Lewis who produced it. This may be true, but to get a more accurate idea, think Save the Last Dance as interpreted by J.K Rowling. The running time is 113 minutes and the child-friendly rating is PG.
Depending on the mentality of the viewer, August Rush may be a best or a bust. Until the very end (which is not hard to figure out from opening credits in a movie that lacks both subtlety and originality); August Rush blandly transforms the iconic English wizard’s wand into a composer’s wand. If I see another Oliver Twist on the big screen again, I will quit writing forever (knock on wood).





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