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Sound of Noise (2012)

| March 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

When Sound of Noise ended, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think about it.  Here is a film so bizarre, with a plot so daffy that it becomes one of those films that you either embrace or reject.  It took me quite some time to figure out where I stand with it, and as of now I’m on the embracing side with a few minor reservations.

This is a caper film, but not of the Michael Mann variety.  This is something that might make have added Bansky to its thank you’s during the closing credits.  It involves an unfortunate soul named Amadeus Warnebring, who was born into a family of musical legends.  Unfortunately, he was born tone deaf.  With that, he grew up and became a detective.

Amadeus seems to be very good at this job, but seems trumped in his current task of tracking down the identities of a terrorist group who have been committing random acts of public disruption.  They don’t blow things up or hurt anyone, no, they play music at inappropriate places.  As the movie opens, the ringleader is being chased through town in a van by the cops while her boyfriend sits in the back and plays the drums in time to a metronome.  They act as a sort of Bonnie and Clyde of auditory disruption.  What they are doing doesn’t seem to make any sense, but what they accomplish is some kind of weird genius.

The crooks get away, and Amadeus is on their trail.  We meet the couple, Sanna and Magnus as they work to pull together a masterpiece of musical distraction.  They hire four expert drummers, all with differing styles, and determine what objects make the perfect percussive sounds.  Their plan is to break into four major institutions, a hospital, a bank, an opera house and high-tension towers and play their music on objects that might be considered non-musical.  Each crime will represent a different movement in their composition.

The music isn’t especially good, but the audacity with which they commit their dastardly deeds is kind of fun.  Attempting to find a purpose behind this might be as futile as trying to understand why clouds look like everyday objects.  In the pattern of poetry, it might be said “because it’s there.”

The film has an inevitable sense of humor from which it never recedes.  A film this bizarre wouldn’t work if it allowed any measure of seriousness to seep in.  The scene set in a hospital is the most curious, a the terrorist use the belly of a fat man as one of their instruments and the sound of the oxygen tanks for the tones.  The scene at the high-tension towers is the most memorable, with the city’s power grid blinking on and off like a bizarre Christmas light display.  It is a sight to behold.

If there is a weakness, I’m afraid that it is that this film runs on a bit longer than it should.  It is based on a 2001 short film called “Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers” which ran this premise just about as far as it possibly could.  This film, at an hour and forty-two minutes, runs its course probably about a half hour longer than it should.  Yet, while I complain about the length, I won’t complain about the content.  I will only say that while it is a good film, not a great one, it succeeded in giving me an experience that I can’t say I’ve ever had before.  That’s a good thing.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2012) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy