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Movie Review: The Soloist

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Prinz Lee wrote this review 6 years and 4 months ago

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PL's Archive: Written April 26, 2009

As a friend of someone whose not only expressed her reality, but also having had the fortunate or un-fortunate experiences of having shared some heart-draining moments due to her schizophrenic mother and brother - I think I have a pretty good idea of what crazy looks and feels like. Finally, Hollywood is on point in portraying the life of the mentally ill as it really is - Too dramatic at times?? Not at all! I have LIVED it by seeing it, LOVED it by the display of my friend’s unconditional caring with other loved ones and at times HATED it by witnessing the devastating behavior this disease has and the ability to wreck and ravage the tortured souls of those it undertakes.

In offering a comparison; I remember having so much hope and ended up so disappointed with the movie "A Beautiful Mind" because its portrayal in overcoming this disease should have been stressed and explored in its most cryptic way ever, but it didn’t and therefore I conclude “The Soloist” having put “A beautiful mind” to shame. The collaboration between both Steve Lopez (Downy, Jr.) and Nathaniel (Foxx) was extremely unique in the sense of having to shift gears within their lives to start coping with beings who were introduced to one another under the most unique of circumstances during their most vulnerable times of their lives… one having to do with his profession and one having to be surviving on a day to day to basis with a destination to no where. Overcoming it’s boundaries, Steve Lopez surly exposed the true value of a human-being no matter what the conditions and digging as much as he could in order to lend a helping hand in ways that wouldn’t only benefit him as a human being living for the greater good, but for Nathaniel’s guidance to a better life of comfort, control and some kind of order. It’s a piece of passion and dedication and a lesion in that good hearted individuals are still out there.

With that said… Even though the back-end story regarding Nathaniel’s past was expressed in bits, but wide enough for understanding… a “con” of which left me questioning a lot was I would have loved to have seen more of Nathaniel’s mystery journey from New York City to Los Angeles. A look into that would have explained a lot of his survival skills although mentally ill. It’s something I often question when I see homeless / sick people strolling the subways, but that’s beside point as it doesn’t reflect the film, however; its flavoring would have been sweet.

The story follows a journalist, Steve Lopez, who discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of
L.A. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives.



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