Primary school for me, was about the time microwave pies became a staple in our household freezer. And if I’m honest it was about the time I got hooked on them. Nothing was quite as good as a microwave potato top pie after an embattled day at primary school. Preparation of these microwaved bags of heaven was my first foray into cooking and I quickly learnt that this process was indeed an art form. Too much cooking and they became rock hard weapons of mass destruction, too little, and the afternoon’s anticipation, of hot mincey goodness, was rapidly chilled.
Music Within for me, was my undercooked microwave mince pie. I had read the production notes and was intrigued by what the film might offer. “Richard Pimental (Ron Livingston) begins his life as a fighter, and his life’s work becomes a process of fighting for the rights of others”. RIchard Pimental in a nutshell has a pretty horrid childhood, finds a niche’ as a public speaker as uses this to try and feign the affection of his somewhat disaffected mother, eventually he ends up on the doorstep of his public speaking idol Dr Ben Padrow (Hector Elizondo) hoping to ace his scholarship tryout. Without giving too much away Richard’s life takes a turn in the form of a Vietnam tour in which he finds himself losing his hearing to a bomb blast, and subsequently returns from his tour trying to figure out how to deal with his newfound disability.
He meets some characters along the way like Art Honeyman, a very likeable cerebral palsy sufferer who provides inspriration and colour to Richard’s life. In amongst trying to make sense and living with his disability, he and Art come face to face with the very real predjudice that plagued disabled people prior to the Americans with disabilties act (a law that Richard Pimental was instrumental in having passed).
So we have a biographical film based on the life of the key players, in one of the most significant human rights legislation passed in modern US history, a pretty good pretense for a film, but for some reason we end up with a “wonder years” esque meader through a life that seems to gloss over the important parts, and bumble through the less interesting. Its saving grace is its background story which brings it its warmth, but unfortunately its execution leaves it that fraction undercooked.
One for DVD maybe….
Food for thought, how do you react when faced with prejudice in your own world, does it rattle your cage, if so what do you do about it??
Microwave cooking an art form……. I guess the same could be said for film making….
Reviewed by: Greg Buckley.
Rating: M – Offensive language, sexual references & drug use.
Duration: 93 mins.
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Director: Steven Sawalich.
Actors: Ron Livingston, Melissa George, Michael Sheen, Yul Vazquez, Rebecca De Mornay.
Release Date: In Cinemas Now.