A young Amos is losing his sight, as he becomes blind and discovers his voice, he has to surpass obstacle after obstacle to reach his goal of singing professionally on the international stage. Through this biography, the life and start of the career of Andrea Bocelli are explored in a way that sheds light on his difficulties and triumphs.
Written by Anna Pavignano and Michael Radford with the latter directing as well, The Music of Silence is a mellow feeling musical biography. It does tell the story of Bocelli growing up with his family and how he became blind while also finding his love for music and singing. However, the film does this without much fanfare or glitter, letting his life story talk for itself. Unfortunately, while the characters are well-built, well-written, and well-acted, the story feels slow and like it’s missing in excitement. The story is mostly interesting but the film focuses a lot of the facts and some of the feelings had by the characters. However, the feelings are not explored as deeply as this story needs. The film feels like it’s just skimming the surface of that the characters are feeling and that is to its detriment. The story doesn’t have a lot of excitement, things do happen, but his life is not that of someone with tons of events and twists and turns. Yes, Bocelli is blind, but once that is established and how it happened is over, it’s all about him wanting to be a singer and what else he does on his way there, but the way there is not particularly fascinating, or at least it’s not shown that way.
The cast for The Music of Silence is quite talented with the best performances coming from Toby Sebastian as Amos (Bocelli) as a teen and adult and a surprising Antonia Banderas as Maestro, the man who trained the singing to understand his voice and use it as he now does. Banderas plays a man who has much knowledge and he plays the part subtly and with just the right nuances as a man who is was a strong influence on Bocelli. His acting steals the scenes he is in, giving him all rights to his top billing even though he doesn’t have the most screen time or the most lines. His performance is definitely the best of the film. The rest of the cast is also good, but this is seriously Banderas’ movie even though he is far from the lead.
The film’s cinematography by Stefano Falivene is worth nothing as it is looks beautiful no matter where the story takes the characters, from the family house where the lead is born to the school for the blind to the stage in a nightclub to ultimately a major international stage. The images look fantastic and are carefully shot, giving the film a look that goes with the best of biographies.
The Sound of Silence is a stunning film visually about a singer with a fantastic voice, but the story is not all that exciting. Yes, the singer was born with health issues, lost his sight, but he did not have a particularly eventful life leading to fame. This film shows that he did go over some hurdles and made it to his goal, so there is the fact that he never gave up and sought his dream no matter what, but the film is done in a manner that is not particularly exciting. The performances do sell the film well along with the images and the music, but this is a film that will be better loved by big fans of Bocelli’s more than simply fans of music in general.