August Rush arrived in theaters just in time to provide the Thanksgiving holiday with a little sentimentality. Fortunately, the film overcame its dripping sentiment to deliver a truly touching tale of familial discovery and genuine emotion.
The driving force for the film's family ties is music; rock, classical, and other styles meet head on in a melding of genres that help take the film to the next level. The film is more than meets the eye, showing how something outside of us can have an impact on our lives. In this case, watch how music can prove to be the unifying force to drive us forward. This soundtrack takes the featured songs and succesfully parts them from the film, providing an experience that is satisfying, although not quite as filling as the movie.
August Rush is not a musical in the strictest of definitions, although it has a bit of that feeling. The musical feeling of the film becomes even more apparent when listening to the soundtrack. When I think of a musical, films like Chicago and Singing in the Rain come to mind; films where the story has a good portion told through the characters singing. There are also films that I have seen described as musicals but aren't true musicals despite the inclusion of a lot of music. This type of film includes such recent entries as Ray and Walk the Line, neither of which is a musical. Period.
Then there is something like August Rush. It's story is not told through song, nor is it a bio-pic about some musical star. It falls somewhere in between the two extremes. The story is not told through song and it is not there to demonstrate the musician's pure skill (well, maybe a little bit). The music in this movie is the driving force and is what ties this separated family together. Without it, the story would be flat, lifeless, and the movie could not exist. It is more than just a score to help cue your emotions.
The album opens with the soft sounds of a piece composed by Mark Mancina. It is complete with the narration by actor Freddie Highmore as he speaks of the importance of the music he hears all around him. It is an opening that is simultaneously sorrowful and hopeful, the perfect way to start the album.
The next two songs chronicle the introductions of Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers characters. First is "Bach/Break" which begins with some cello before breaking into the rock song performed by Meyers. The film cut between these two simultaneous moments, but the soundtrack version begins with Back but once it makes the transition to "Break" it does not go back, playing the rock song uninterrupted. The third track is directly from the film, Meyers singing Van Morrison's "Moondance" to Russell, while the Robin Williams character plays into the night on the street below.