Movie Review: A Heartbeat Away
A Heartbeat Away
By Jessica Kidner
A Heartbeat away is an Australian comedy depicting the struggle between fathers’ expectations and sons’ desires.
In this case, the father (Edwin played by William Zapper) is the musical director of a marching band, of which he is strongly passionate about. His son Kevin (played by Sebastian Gregory) however, would much rather rock out with his garage band, than appreciate the skill behind the march, and the grandeur of a conducting a large-scale band.
From the outset this is a light-hearted movie, and therefore the when the conflict is presented, it is not enough to have the audience in waterworks – a refreshing change from the slew of drama’s that currently fill the cinemas.
On the way to picking up his father, Kevin is easily distracted by the eye-catchingly beautiful Mandy (Isabel Lucas) in a guitar store. Becoming increasingly impatient, Edwin decides to walk home instead, where he is hit by a bus, and taken to hospital.
With extensive injuries, Edwin is no longer physically able to direct the marching band. The timing could not have been worse, as the band is preparing to play in front of their home crowd in a competition for the first time in twenty years. Edwin displays resentment towards his son, blaming him for the accident and the situation that has ensued.
Kevin is now forced to push aside his dreams of becoming a lead guitar player in a successful rock band, and instead step into his father’s role conducting the marching band. Though this causes a few snide remarks from his fellow band members, and a knock to his social status, Kevin knows he has no choice.
Instead of going at it alone, he recruits love interest Mandy (who is a dancer) to choreograph the march, while he teaches the mature band members some new tunes – contemporary rock. Not only is his father’s personal pride as well as respect for Kevin on the line, but also the council threatens to knock down the community hall, the long time practice place for the band, if they should lose the competition.
An interesting and unusual concept for a film, the storyline allows for the typical Australian larrikin characters to be included, as well as creating an all round jovial mood. Witnessing Kevin’s journey is quite enlightening and satisfying. It also addresses deeper issues in that of expectations within the home, and preconceived perceptions of varying age groups. Overall a good piece of entertainment!
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