August Rush is the new name of a boy who was taken from his teenage mother and sent to an orphanage where he has stayed for eleven years until the movie begins. August, first known as Evan, has a gift for hearing music everywhere and in everything. He runs away to find his parents whom he believes are calling to him in the music.
His mother is a young cellist who was headed for a brilliant career. His father is a young bass player in a band. They meet one night by chance and fall in love to the sounds of music. After their one memorable night, Lyla's father takes her away to continue her training in cello. Louis arrives just too late and never sees her again though their devotion and commitment to each other is never quenched. When Evan arrives in New York looking for them and knowing nothing about them, he is found by the villain who brings him into his Fagan-like fold (Dickens, Oliver Twist) of street playing homeless boy musicians. Evan proves to be a star.
Eventually, Evan is set on a path to higher things and is enrolled at New York's music conservatory, Julliard. His first symphony is going to be played in Central Park and preparations are at the eleventh hour when Maxwell "Wizard" Wallace, the villain played very convincingly by Robin Williams, walks into Julliard demanding that his "son" be returned to him.
Great excitement mounts as Evan, called August Rush by Wizard, struggles to free himself and get to Central Park for his concert. Unbeknownst to Evan, the concert has drawn his mother and his father to Central Park as well. Have they all three been calling for each other? How will they find each other?
August Rush does a good job of combining the unrealistic elements with the realistic. Wizard sends chills down the spine even though he is ensconced in modern day New York. Music comes to Evan from telephone lines and truck traffic and it seems an acceptable extension of New York's daily throb of chaos. The fairy tale elements leading up to the end give a solid base for the ending during which Evan is conducting the orchestra playing his symphony.
Even though August Rush is PG, I'd hesitate to let grade school children watch it because Williams' character is capable of producing unwanted nightmares in children. The music segments are close to divine and the lead actors Freddie Highmore (Evan/August), Keri Russell (cellist Lyla Novacek), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (bassist Louis Connelly) do a terrific job along with Robin Williams in bringing August Rush to life.
August Rush (2007)
Kirsten Sheridan - Director
Nick Castle and James V. Hart - Screenplay Writers
Freddie Highmore - Evan/August Rush
Keri Russell - Lyla Novacek
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - Louis Connelly
Robin Williams - Maxwell 'Wizard' Wallace
Terrence Howard - Richard Jeffries
[August Rush reviewed from DVD in Reviewer's private collection.]