Rudderless (2014): The Way Back Begins with a Single Chord

Posted: March 14, 2015 in Comedy, Drama, Musical

rudderless__movie_poster__by_bwleigh2013-d7h42v1Tragedy can hit at the most random of times. After closing a big deal with his advertising firm, Sam calls his son to meet up to celebrate but gets stood up. While at the bar, he sees a report on the news about a shooting at his son’s school. A short time later, Sam arrives at his son’s funeral and his life starts to take a dark turn. After losing his job, he moves into his boat and lays low for two years. Sam runs into his ex-wife, who gives him several items from his son’s room. After listening to some of the music, he gets the courage to play one of the songs at The Trill. A young musician, Quentin, really enjoys Sam’s song and begins to pursue Sam to play again. After wearing him down, Quentin and Sam expand their band and start to draw a real following.

Review: A real shocking story, Rudderless was a film that focused on pain and healing. William H. Macy (Trill) served as both a character and the film’s director. While only playing a small part, his influence in the complex storyline was palpable. Sending Billy Crudup (Sam) through the wringer, the performance was heartfelt and pure. As a father who struggled with the loss of his son, he traveled through the emotions of shock, painlessness, sorrow, and, eventually, healing. Anton Yelchin (Quentin) was a strong counterpoint, starting as a positive influence to pull Crudup’s character out of his slump and eventually forcefully challenging his inability to deal with the death of his son.

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**Spoiler Alert** The shocking turn in this film was when it was revealed that Sam’s son was actually the one who committed the shooting at his school, killing 6 students. Sam spiraled into real depression and despair, unable to comprehend what happened to his son. He had somewhat escaped his pain but never really dealt with it until he was finally called out by Kate (Selena Gomez). With her forceful tone refusing to let him get away with playing the songs without dealing with the connection to his son, she eventually forced him to reveal his past to his bandmates and force him to make a decision about his future and his influence on Quentin.

While the film started with an even and somber tone, the shocking twist and powerful conclusion make this a hidden gem of the past year.

Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5

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