Música (2024) by Rudy Mancuso – Movie Review

Fussy Tongue Movie Review: Música 2024 movie by Rudy Mancuso available on Amazon Prime

Movie Review

About Música

Rudy Mancuso in Música“Musica” is a 2024 American romcom film starring lead actors Rudy Mancuso (Rudy) and Camila Mendes (Isabella). Rudy Mancuso directs, also composing the original soundtrack and co-writing the script with Dan Lagana. The movie also stars J.B. Smoove (Anwar), Francesca Reale (Haley), Andy Muschietti (Subway Busker). Mancuso’s real life mother (Maria) also stars as his on-screen mother (Maria).

Rudy Mancuso’s debut feature film, “Música,” offers a refreshing departure from the typical rom-com formula, delivering a fun, unique, unusual, and somewhat insightful experience. The movie is set in Newark, revolves around the life of a struggling musician and marketing student, played by Mancuso, who finds himself caught in between a rock and a hard place, trying to navigate the demands of his Brazilian culture, the pressures of societal expectations, the distraction of his synesthesia, while trying to pursuing his passion for puppets, his obsession with music and completing his marketing thesis. The movie features dialogue in both English and Portuguese with subtitles.

Música Cast: Lead and supporting actors

The strong connection and chemistry between the lead actors Rudy Mancuso and Camila Mendes elevates the story and draws the viewer into the main protagonist’s journey. The (best?) friend Anwar, played by J.B. Smoove, brings a bizarre mix of loyalty and out-of-mindedness that can only humble the viewer into accepting the human imperfection and prioritising the importance of friendship for what it brings that matters most. J.B. Smoove. Haley (played by Francesca Reale) and her family contribute with Rudy’s mother to showcase the ironic similarities between very different families: a middle-class white couple and a working class single mum. Both lead and supporting actors as well as extra are excellent at conveying the different moods. However, music (rhythm, melodies and beyond) in its perception and its direction is the main actor of the movie, conducting the orchestra of life and love.

Música: Music!

What sets this film apart are the musical sequences, skillfully executed to capture the essence of life’s and love’s melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and even moments of silence. Beyond that, it brings forth the rich creativeness of Brazilian musical and dance culture. The musical numbers are impressive, all the more as they are supported by camera movements that seem to bring in their own rhythms and progression. The whole direction captures the music of life and love beyond what can be heard, into the tastes of Brazil, the specific sound wave of its language; the playful switches between English and Portuguese and the sometimes seamless blend of English and Portuguese dialogue, add authenticity and depth to the narrative but also an additional harmony layer to the musical experience.

Música waltzing away from the Romcom formulaRudy Mancuso and Camila Mendes in Música by Rudy Mancuso

Despite occasional flirtations with conventional rom-com tropes, “Música” manages to steer clear for the most part, offering a visually dazzling and original take on the genre. It’s impressive that this is Mancuso’s first foray into filmmaking, as the execution is commendable. However, the elongated restaurant scene momentarily disrupts the movie’s charm, flow and overall experience. Despite this flaw, “Música” remains a worthwhile watch for its originality and its enchanting portrayal of the rhythms of life and love.

Música: Insightfulness

Despite being a directorial debut, the film is visually stunning and steers clear of most rom-com cliches, except for a brief near-miss in the second act. It delivers a subtle but impactful message about the pitfalls of people-pleasing, portrayed with enough nuance to evoke genuine empathy for the protagonist, even as he grapples with his flawed decision-making. Both Mancuso and his on-screen mother deliver compelling performances, playing themselves, further enhancing the film’s charm. The conversations with the puppet character feel surprisingly believable, adding an intriguing layer to the storytelling. The self-portrayal as well as the later staging of his life through his puppeteer work also gives the film an introspective and exorcising dimension. There is the sense of a subtle message: that our passions (music and puppets for him) find us and torment us until we embrace them to liberate us; but that the pressures of society (marketing studies in this case) help us put those embraced dreams out there, to the society.

Música: Verdict

This is a must-watch for anyone seeking originality in romcoms and beyond. Music lovers will especially appreciate the film’s portrayal of the melody, rhythm, harmony and even silence in life and love. However, the extended restaurant scene . While a minor misstep, it doesn’t overshadow the overall brilliance of this film. Música is available on Amazon Prime video at the time of the review.