Pianist David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush) has a nervous breakdown and ends up institutionalized.
I really didn’t know what I was expecting with this film. My knowledge of classical music is basically nil but the film certainly looked interesting. Geoffrey Rush is, for the most part, quite a competent actor and I came to watching this film with rock-bottom expectations. All I knew is that this film was quite scanty with the story, truth-wise.
It certainly goes to great lengths to expose the cruelty David experienced at the hands of his controlling father. Even years later in the film, David’s father is still using emotional blackmail to control his emotionally unstable son.
Geoffrey Rush was good here, but it was not one of his best roles I think. The music is good, being made predominantly from classical pieces. It adds the right tone to the film while also bringing out the film’s true nature. Cinematography was interesting too.
However, biopics always will be a bit hit-and-miss really, no matter who the film is about. As I said, my knowledge of classical music is practically zero and before today I had never heard of Helfgott. At the end of the film, I didn’t really feel as if Helfgott’s emotions had been explored very much at all. Or, at least, not very well beyond his problematic home life.
It was an OK film but I don’t think I will be watching it again any time soon.
MY RATING: ** / *****