Unrushed, but urgent | Sunday Observer
A review of the film ‘August Rush’

Unrushed, but urgent

27 June, 2021

When words simply can’t do, what do you resort to in order to say what simply cannot be left unsaid? Communing with the forces of fate through his inborn ability to read and create rhythms that span beyond what human oral communication can accomplish, the character of Evan Taylor, who renames himself ‘August Rush’ to become the eponymous protagonist of the film Directed by Kirsten Sheridan, is a phenomenon whose prodigious gift challenges all odds to triumph in his quest for reunification with the two souls who created a genius through a serendipitous night of young love.

To anyone who believes that all forms of loves if conceived in the truest and purest possible forms is providential, ‘August Rush’ is a must-see film.

How a night of innocent young love can set the course for what is an unalterable union despite the persisting objection of parental authority, speaks loudly of how the triumph of the heart, for love, is to be hailed against all other virtues.

Digital revolution

Set in the mid 90s, before the digital revolution that now enables much means to communicate across borders and oceans, August Rush shows how Lyla Novacek, played enchantingly by Keri Russell, a cellist living under rigid paternal rule, meets Louis Connelly portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who is the lead singer of an Irish rock group named “The Connelly Brothers”.

The chanced meeting Lyla and Louis have on a rooftop brings them together in an evening of propinquity that develops into a night of intimacy.

The morning sees them separated and unkindly severed from each other with no means to maintain contact as planned, as Lyla leaves for Chicago under her father’s custody.

Later Lyla realises she is pregnant with a child by Louise. Following an argument with her father, as she walks away from him, Lyla gets hit by a car.

The accident trauma causes her to give birth prematurely.

Her father exploits the opportunity to secretly put the illegitimate child up for adoption.

Lyla, when she regains full consciousness, is told that the baby died. What transpires afterwards is that we see a brilliant portrayal by Freddie Highmore of the character Evan Taylor, the child of Lyla and Louise, as an eleven year old, living in a boy’s orphanage.

What we are made to realise about Evan is that he is different in his phenomenal sensitivity to the rhythms around him, which he almost reads as some form of communication void of specific communicator.

Convinced that his parents will find him one day, Evan runs away to New York hoping to reunite with his parents whom he has never seen and knows nothing of.

Rhythms and melodies

He ‘follows the music’ so to say, and is ushered by the force of rhythms and melodies he senses that work as something of a surreal force that guides him.

Moments after he arrives in the big city he meets a boy named Arthur, a street performer who strums his guitar for passersby in the hope of getting their charity.

And it is here that Evan sees his turning point towards his goal take some shape of leading him to his destiny.

The meeting with Arthur leads Evan to a ramshackle, condemned theatre, the abode of Maxwell “the Wizard” Wallace, played compellingly by Robin Williams, a vagrant musician who teaches homeless children music and employs them as street performers.

When Evan gets his hands strumming and tapping away on the Wizard’s prized guitar what comes out is music that is so good that the Wizard gives him the guitar and suggest Evan be renamed as ‘August Rush’ and tries to get him signed on to play at clubs.

The chain of events and the maze of twists and turns that occur in the lives of Lyla, Louise and Evan eventually leads to a union that transpires in the hallowed moment of the ‘calling’ Evan sends out to his parents, through the rhapsody he has composed that gets performed at the show of the Philharmonic orchestra at New York’s Central Park.

As paths of the separated

come together in a magical and mesmeric moment, providence shows itself in the faces of the three, whose hearts and pulses it seems had secretly been bound together all along.