Rating: Not Rated
Length: 88 minutes
Director: Henry Bean (The Believer)
Writer: Henry Bean (The Believer; Basic Instinct 2)
Starring: Tim Robbins, William Hurt, Bridget Moynahan, Margarita Levieva, William Baldwin, Maria Ballesteros, Keir O’ Donnell, Gabrielle Brennan
“Noise” is an odd movie. One that is filled to the brim with energy and not so much ideas as a single idea that it wants to let you know about for it’s entire running length. That idea, of course, is noise. Having lived in New York with a brief period of time, I can empathize with the hero of the film, David Owen (Tim Robbins- a role originally intended for Ryan Gosling) A.K.A. “The Rectifier”. Owen is a relatively calm business man who is trying to do his best to raise his family that includes a young daughter (Gabrielle Brennan) and keep his marriage to his beautiful wife, Helen (Tom Brady’s ex Bridget Moynahan) stable. When he first moved to New York he loved it- even the never ending sounds that accompanied it. One night, however, everything changed. He is listening to his wife practice her musical instrument and is interrupted by a loud, obnoxious car alarm that continues to go off. After that night, the alarms seem to never stop, the trucks in the city never seem to stop backing up, the people on cell phones are everywhere… David Owen becomes a man obsessed with noise pollution. When he, after a long night of trying to get his child to sleep, he walks down to the street and breaks into the offending car with the never ending alarm he mouths off to the police and is put in jail. After his release he is soon arrested again. He decides that since no one is willing to change anything, he’ll have to become sort of a folk superhero and so the “Rectifier” is born. The “Rectifier” is simply David dressed all in black with a hoodie, smashing in car windows, opening the hoods of the cars, and dismantling their alarms (and leaving his calling card). He also uses similar methods to stores that have irritating alarms as well. One store he vandalizes brings along the questioning of an amateur journalist named Ekaterina (the striking Margarita Levieva), who has David pegged as his alter ego. She doesn’t want to turn him in, she wants to help. David’s marriage is on hold for the moment, so he takes up a passionate affair with Ekaterina and they recruit a small team of activists and attempt to get a new law past. Only the uptight Mayor (a hilarious William Hurt) is so against “The Rectifier”, he is doing everything in his power to make sure the bill won’t pass. Sounds like a busy movie doesn’t it? Not really. There’s a lot of talk and little action. There’s action in the sense that you get to see David break into a lot of cars and stores, but not much else. Mainly he complains a lot. You can see why his wife wants to leave him. He was once a sane man and, for some reason, noise is his weakness and he can’t go on living a normal life with it. He tells a jury in a rather bland courtroom finale that in the future mankind will look back at us and be “amazed at how we lived with all of this noise!”. The movie has a message and yes, it’s hard to disagree that noise pollution is not an annoyance, but when you live in a big city like New York, it’s just part of the way of life. Like I said, I was only there for a few months and the first few weeks I would wake up at the crack of dawn to the sounds of trucks, car alarms, loud voices, horns, subways, you name it, but then a funny thing happened and the noises eventually began to soothe me. When I left Brooklyn for Reno, I found myself unable to sleep the entire time I was there. I missed the noise. Who knows? Maybe if David is to get his way and stop his obsession, he might be left with nothing to show for and maybe he’ll having trouble sleeping for a completely different reason. What would have happened if Ahab would have caught Moby Dick after all?
(I couldn’t find any of the musical score from the film- sorry! Below are some songs that I thought might have fit in well in the film)
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