Sunday, March 1, 2009

August Rush

This is one of those movies you'll either love or hate. As always, my hope is you'll love it, as I'd hate for you to sit through something you didn't like for two hours. And as usual, this is a secular film, more humanistic than Christian. Yet I chose it for one main reason: it showed me how incredibly cynical I can be.

At first, the cynic in me mocked this movie. For one thing, much of the plot depends on a string of serendipitous coincidences. I found myself saying, "Aw, come on! Like THAT would ever happen!" Then about halfway through the story, it hit me . . . carefully orchestrated events such as these happen all the time! They are child's play to God. As I realized my attitude, my heart changed. I can now say I absolutely love this movie, and with that, I present to you, August Rush, the story of an orphaned musical prodigy who finds his parents with the help of a social worker and a little thing called fate. Our theme of the month is, coincidentally, "The Sovereignty of God".

STATS
Year: 2007 (Rated PG)
Directed by Kristen Sheridan
Starring Robin Williams, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Terrence Howard, and Freddie Highmore.
Setting: New York City, 1996-2007.

Content warning: Mild language (The word "damn" is uttered about 10 times in one scene by street children. The Lord's name is never taken in vain.) Some mild scenes of violence, mostly in the form of intimidation of children. An implied reference to fornication at the beginning of the film (Couple kisses at night and wakes up the next day in an embrace, fully clothed). And I am pleased to report that this one has a happy ending!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Watch your attitude. If you're anything like me, you'll be rolling your eyes at first, thinking, "What are the odds of that happening?" but if you stop to think of some of your favorite Bible stories, you'll remember that in real life, events such as these can and do happen against the odds. Remember God is sovereign!

2. Music as a metaphor for God. The creators of this film did not intend for it to be that way, but Christians will appreciate the similarities between the personification of music in this film and the force of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Music appears to be that driving force that compels these characters to make certain decisions. At one point, August (Freddie Highmore) says of music, "Only some people can hear," to which Wizard (Robin Williams) replies, "Only some people will listen." Great exchange of dialogue, and also reminiscent of God's presence in the world.

3. Music as an expression of human emotion. There is a lot to be enjoyed in an auditory sense. There's an eclectic mix of all sorts of genres, from alternative rock to classical music. There's also a great gospel choir!

4. Another interesting commentary on orphans and adoption. Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) decides to carry the child full term, despite her father's urging to "get rid of it." Lyla seems to know this is not just a living being inside her, but an extension of herself and Louis (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers).

TRIVIA
The story is loosely based on Charles Dickens' classic, Oliver Twist.

Click here for the official website. The official trailer is below:

2 comments:

Yvonne said...

I loved "August Rush"!!

I loved the way he heard the music everywhere...how it became almost part of him. Of course, the ending was very coincidental, but... besides that, it was one I'd watch again and again.

Jennifer said...

I agree, it was beautiful. The music was so inspiring and I am always happy to see talented and well-known performers choose to work in a "clean" movie. There were very few "language" issues and they were relatively minor. The ending was great and even though they were following the music, it really did remind me of how God orchestrates things.