Saturday, July 5, 2014

Film Review: Grand Piano (2013)

Grand Piano (Review)
Spain/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"... short and simple yet moderately entertaining..."

Master pianist Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is secretly held hostage in front of the audience of his comeback performance by a man (John Cusack) with a sniper.

The Grand Piano is a fairly simple film. Tom Selznick, who suffers from stage fright, is having a comeback concert. As he starts playing, he finds notes warning him of death if he plays the wrong piano note. And so, Tom Selznick tries to keep his composure during the concert, and tries to save himself and his wife. There's an interesting reasoning for the sniper's actions, but it's not really delved into all that deeply. The ending is decent; it kind of just ends -- you know what happens, but it doesn't go any further.

First and foremost, I mentioned I appreciate stylish and thoughtful intro and ending credits in films such as Hwayi: A Monster Boy. In this case, the introduction and ending credits are generic and take up nearly 16 minutes of the film's very short runtime. That leaves the actual film at approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. In this short runtime, we get a short and simple yet moderately entertaining story. The suspense is often very light -- it gets you engaged, but you likely won't be biting any nails. There really isn't much to discuss when it comes to the story, though... I suppose I'll leave it at that.

Elijah Wood is great as the lead. Wood is really the only actor who gets to shine, though. John Cusack is mostly a voiceover -- he's also good, not spectacular or terrible. The film looks beautiful; the lighting really stood out, and the cinematography is generally great. The music plays a large role in the film; fortunately, it's great. Director Eugenia Mira knows how to put a beautiful film together; however, the suspense is merely decent and the story could use much more depth.

Overall, Grand Piano is a decent film. It's simplicity is attractive, there are some suspenseful moments, and Elijah Wood is great; the film also looks and sounds beautiful. However, the story also lacks depth, there are a few pacing and balancing issues, and the suspense occasionally fails to conjure. It's at least worth a rental.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

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