Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Music Never Stopped

"The Music Never Stopped" is a beautifully written story about a relationship between a father and his estranged son who are reconnected through the power of music. If you enjoyed the movie "Awakenings" (1990) you will like this movie as well. This movie is based on an essay by Oliver Sacks titled "the Last Hippie" and he also wrote "Awakenings".

Have you have ever heard a song on the radio and instantly been brought back to the first time you heard the song, recalling memories that you had not thought about for years? If so, then you will know how important this movie is to people. The memories we have are the most valuable things we possess because they are the building blocks of who we are today. It is through these memories that we connect with each other and hold onto the ones we love.

In this movie, Gabriel (played by Lou Taylor Pucci) is the "last hippie". Through complications of a brain tumor that had gone untreated for nearly 20 years; Gabriel still thinks that Nixon is president, that his friend just left for Vietnam, and that his girlfriend is still in high school. Gabriel was born in 1951 and his generation of music was vastly different from his parents. He loved Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead while his parents enjoyed the big band classics of Duke Elington. His father (Henry) is played by JK Simmons, who is in his 60s and is struggling with ways to connect to his son. His mother (Helen) is played by Cara Seymour, who is battling the years where she ignored the tension between her husband and son.

The story is told with two periods of reference, (1) the current time period in the 1980s and (2) the developing years that lead up to the difficulties between father and son in the late 1960s. The flash backs are perfectly placed and contribute to the emotion that one will feel towards this movie. The connection we make as an audience through the music and relationships are very well done. I had heard that the soundtrack was a good one, but this movie is so much more than the classic rock that is the theme. It is a powerful movie that I strongly encourage people to see.

There were times when I thought that Gabriel should not be remembering things, yet he is acting "normal". Also, when the same actor plays a 18 year old kid and a 38 year old man it takes a bit more than a beard to make it convincing. All of that is just me being an overly critical movie fan and shouldn't be a concern to anyone else, because this movie is well done and should be seen by everyone. I give this one 4 Quacks and hope that not only fans of music see this movie.

(screening date 3/23/11, release date UNKNOWN, location E Street Cinema)

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