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A new film on the horizon: “Música” on Prime Video

Steve Buissinne
Anna Maxwell reviews the new film, “Música,” that comes out on Prime Video on April 4.

Based on a true story, “Música” follows Rudy Mancuso, played by himself, while he is down on his luck in Newark, NJ and is trying desperately to write a thesis while also performing a puppet show on the subway. He just got dumped by his girlfriend of four years, but soon meets Isabella, played by Camila Mendes, who shows him that love is truly about acceptance. On top of this heavy emotional strife, Rudy is a synesthete, meaning that he often gets distracted by sound because it morphs into music in his mind. He also has an “overloving but overbearing” Brazilian mother who wants to find him a perfect Brazilian girlfriend. 

This film was a beautiful work of art that kept me surprised and engaged throughout its many twists and turns. What made it especially brilliant was Mancuso and his mother played themselves in the story, which made it feel all the more real for the audience. Mancuso co-wrote and directed the film, making him a triple threat, and the cinematography shined throughout the film. Because Mancuso is a synesthete, the purpose of many of the scenes was to accurately portray what exactly goes on in his mind on a daily basis. 

The visuals and music were phenomenal. Many of the extras seemed to be highly trained dancers and artists who simulated the music flowing through Mancuso’s brain. This film is considered to be a musical, but instead of singing and dancing, the majority of its runtime consisted of choreography with objects being used as percussion instruments for the purpose of demonstrating how sounds in everyday life can be easily transformed into beautiful music in the blink of an eye.

The visuals accentuated Mancuso’s differences compared to the rest of the world due to not only his synesthesia but also his unique and creative personality. For instance, while sitting with his ex-girlfriend and their family at their dinner table, everyone else was wearing white while Mancuso was wearing black. Even his drink was darker than everyone else’s, which made the scene both enlightening, funny and a stark comparison. Also, there was a montage of a period of monotony in Mancuso’s life where the fourth wall was broken and the creators played with drawings and other backgrounds to accent Mancuso’s unique mind and situation. 

Not only that, but Mancuso had a puppet who was also his friend and guide throughout his experience. The puppet, Diego, often butted into Mancuso’s life to give him tips and tricks on how best to handle his struggles. While all of this was going on, Mancuso juggled both his ex-girlfriend and Isabella because he was unsure of whom to pick and how to break someone’s heart. 

The film was extremely dynamic and I felt as if there was always something new to experience and understand about the story and the people within it. Everything about the film was visually appealing and emotionally interesting. 

The cast and crew told a remarkable and obscure story about Mancuso and his journey as a puppeteer, musical artist and unsuccessful player. Although the film does not end completely perfectly with a sweeping kiss or Mancuso becoming immediately famous by some twist of fate, the story is honest and an homage to Mancuso’s journey and eventual success. I was shocked and extremely entertained throughout the film and quickly went to research what I could about Mancuso because he seemed like a very interesting and fun person. Overall, this film was surprising in the best way it could’ve been.

“Música” comes out on Prime Video today, April 4, 2024 and is a film you will not want to miss. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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