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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

‘Música’ serves as sweet rom-com

Music driven and immersive, coming of age story
Fair use from Prime Video

As his debut film, Rudy Mancuso delves into a loose, autobiographical storyline about a soon to be college graduate who has synesthesia as he navigates his life, balancing his passions, family and relationships.

Immediately as the film starts, it is vibrant. So many different sounds, colors and tempos. Rudy is easily distracted by everyday sounds that become loud enough to disrupt his own thoughts. Sequences of rhythm and dance are sprinkled throughout the entirety of the movie, giving the audience a true insight into Mancuso’s mind — a never ending song. Every scene was filled with spunk that was captivating as a viewer; this movie definitely would’ve been fun to see in theaters.

Mancuso manages to cram in all of his different passions into the storyline — song, dance, puppets and animation. All of these elements weave beautifully into a strong, artistic and lively plot centered in the Brazilian American community of New Jersey’s Ironbound neighborhood. Every character felt like they had a large amount of depth, and Camilla Mendes had loads of charm and onscreen chemistry with Mancuso.

After a temporary relationship breakup with longterm girlfriend Haley (Francesca Reale), Mancuso juggles his new dating life after meeting Isabella (Mendes) at a local fish market. While simultaneously dating the two, Mancuso suffers a mental battle in choosing what girl. Between the anxiety-inducing scenes of Mancuso essentially balancing dating two girlfriends, food truck owner and friend, Anwar (B.J. Smoove), brought in great comic relief as he tries to snap his buddy back to reality.

Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut did a wonderful job incorporating the energy and charisma from each character and translating it into each camera shot while editor Melissa Kent smoothly strung together each aspect of Mancuso’s chaotic life.

My only critique of this movie would be Diego, Mancuso’s imaginary, puppet friend who he seeks advice from. The scenes between them were funny but felt like filler scenes as it drew the focus away from the main focus of Isabella and Rudy’s relationship. I would’ve much preferred Anwar or his mother having a heart to heart instead.

The film resolves with Rudy pursuing his dream of taking his puppeteer career farther. He went from performing underground in the subway to a sold out theater, jam packed with an echoing applause.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching “Musica.” It is a very bright, slightly overwhelming but fun film to watch. I had seen Mancuso’s work over the years so I was excited to see that he exceeded expectations and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with in years to come.

“Musica:” ★★★★☆

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About the Contributor
Abby Bartleson
Abby Bartleson, Echo Staffer
Hey y’all!! My name is Abby, I’m a senior and this will be my third year on Echo (whoa!!). When I’m not designing an infographic on Canva hidden away in the Pub, you can find me drinking any sort of matcha (preferably matcha lemonade), devouring a nice bowl of Pho from Quang, or hanging out with Ruby Viot (my favorite person ever). You can usually catch me with my headphones on listening to Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Tyler Childers or Zach Bryan! #PeaceOut #CanvaQueen

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