Música Is a Remarkable Feature Debut By a Magical Mind

Música still of Rudy (Rudy Mancuso) sitting behind Isabela (Camila Mendes) pointing at something in the distance.

A large portion of the film is not song and dance numbers. However, it’s easy to forget that because Música has the vibrancy of a musical.

Música blends comedy with finding oneself and presents it in a stylish and fun way, interspersing moments with puppets. Like many coming-of-age tales, it’s through relationships that Rudy (Rudy Mancuso) discovers his path to growth. Through sounds, Rudy takes audiences on a journey through music that resonates with the sounds of everyday life. Música is funny, sometimes dramatic, and a unique approach to an oft-trod genre. 

Written by Rudy Mancuso and Dan Lagana and directed by Rudy Mancuso in his directorial debut, the movie starts with Rudy’s girlfriend, Haley (Francesca Reale), dumping him. But within that short snapshot before the breakup, it’s clear that she feels disconnected from him as his mind drifts to the sounds around him. He rearranges them into a musical number that captures audiences. Unfortunately, Haley does not see what audiences do. 

Música Feels Like the Best Type of Musical

A large portion of the film is not song and dance numbers. However, it’s easy to forget that because Música has the vibrancy of a musical. But rather than a musical without reason, the movie shows that this is how Rudy’s mind works. Furthermore, a flashback shows the reason behind this but does not set on the traumatic events that led to it. Ultimately, that’s how Rudy’s mind works now. 

And Haley does not get it. But Isabela (Camila Mendes) does. In addition, his mother, Maria (Maria Mancuso), lectures him about the importance of settling down with a Brazilian girl, and local food truck owner, Anwar (J. B. Smoove), merely offers tidbits of advice that rarely pan out. So, Rudy, like most, has to figure out what he wants and what he needs to do to achieve it. 

A Typical Love Triangle With a Hilarious Execution

Música still of Rudy (Rudy Mancuso) playing a keyboard.
Música still. Courtesy of Prime Video.

Although many films have love triangles, Música‘s execution is animated and surprising. While Rudy lacks experience with breakups, it does not alter the fact that his treatment of both women is wrong. But as he moves from each location, the scenes transition like a set on a play or production lot. As viewers watch, knowing it’s only a matter of time, the movie again finds a way to incorporate sound, elevating the humor to new heights. 

The acting sells the story. Rudy Mancuso is awkward. Meanwhile, Francesca Reale seems clueless but also ill-matched. Camila Mendes is the antithesis of Francesca’s character, engaging and curious about Rudy’s passions. Yet, the film’s highlight is the message of growth sans relationship

Light, Even With Serious Subjects

Given the ingenious way Música adds puppets to the story, it keeps the story lighthearted, even when dealing with profound moments, such as shooting. Through puppets and music, the movie touches on urban issues, racism, and domestic violence. Thanks to the latter, the scenes are more funny than angering. That awkward dinner with Haley’s white family is priceless. While the film is a bit shallow, it’s an entertaining, refreshing addition to the genre. 

Música is a solid and overall entertaining feature debut from Rudy Mancuso. His incorporation of music and puppets keeps viewers engaged without oversaturating them in a musical or a muppet show. It’s like a blend of three storytelling styles that somehow work, thanks to its execution. Música explores growth, confidence, and love through a unique lens that makes one hopeful for what Rudy Mancuso will create next. 

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