Guest Author - Amy Mable
This is a film for artists and musicians and those that think like artists and musicians. It is also best watched if you watch the first 5-10 minutes of film last.
Evan (Freddie Highmore) lives in a home for orphaned and abandoned boys. There's a strong resemblance to Annie in the optimism and dreamy nature of 11 year old Evan. He hears his parents, though he's never met them, through the components of a musical rhapsody. Every sound is part of an arrangement that he alone hears.
Evan's parents, both talented musicians, spent a solitary night together. Torn apart by family and circumstance, they were destined to never share the joy of Evan's existence. In fact, a cruel twist of manipulation would erase him from their lives completely.
Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) was destined for musical greatness, and her father (played by William Sadler) would do everything in his power to ensure nothing would detour her career path. Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) would leave his band when it became too painful to make music with the memory of one night with Lyla continuing to haunt him.
Evan runs away from the boys' home to find his parents. His musical genius is discovered by the “Wizard” (Robin Williams). The Wizard is a sort of musical pimp. In his “care” are street children with musical talents. The are street performers, collecting money to bring back for their makeshift family. Evan follows one young guitar player home.
Evan has a few scrapes, as one would expect for a homeless child in this hodgepodge family situation. A close call with the police turns out to be a favorable twist of fate for Evan. Finally in the care of people with no interest in exploiting him, he finds himself studying at Juilliard . He begins to compose. He believes if his parents hear his music, they'll find him. It's his only wish – to be found.
Eventually, I felt invested in the reunion of the three main characters. When I say eventually, that would be 10 minutes before the movie's end.
Lyla and Louis' relationship (one night) didn't seem to be worth years of angst. If they were soul mates, extraordinarily passionate about one another, or emotionally drawn to each other – it wasn't revealed on film. They were both musicians, but I'm not sure they knew that about one another. Evan's desire for his parents was evident. Lyla's loss of her child was palpable, but there was no hint that she was in love with Louis.
The depth of the relationships was significantly hollow for most of the film. The last moments were the best part of the film. After watching the end, I restarted the movie to see if I'd missed something in the early moments of Lyla and Louis' relationship. I didn't.
If you love music, the nuances, emotions and art of each note, each instrument, each measure of a rhapsody – you may like this movie. Otherwise, I'd pass it by.
I paid for the service that provided me with this DVD with my own funds. I was not compensated for my review.