Music Within Film Review – based on true story of Richard Pimentel

Share this post:

Music Within – Film Review 4.0/5 stars

Music Within

Directed by Steven Sawalich (second feature film after Sunday in the Park with George and Phil in 2000), Music Within is a film much less to do with music (as much as all the wonderful 1960s hits strike the nostalgic chord), but everything to do with the power within. With Ron Livingston (roles in Office Space, Band of Brothers) playing the lead protagonist, Richard Pimentel, he learns that having a natural talent [public speaking] is not enough to succeed in life. Pimentel takes the challenges and manages to add much pepper to his life via his perspective-altering experience in Vietnam.

While Pimentel, the man with a new meaning, manages to seduce the gorgeous and free loving Christine (Melissa George), the greater relationship developed in the film is with his pal, Art Honeymoon (Michael Sheen who played Tony Blair in The Deal), a man with Cerebral Palsy. Art is indeed a piece of art.

Full of purpose and based on a true story (Pimentel was instrumental in creating the Americans with Disability Act ADA, passed in 1990), the film lays open the dysfunction of families and couples. It also demonstrates the beauty of imperfection. And the film tackles the very real question: “What do you want [with your life]?” Pimentel rises to the challenge: “Get a Life!” (by Dr. Padrow [Hector Elizondo] at Harvard University. Here is a letter by Richard Pimentel regarding the film (via Milt Wright & Assoc.).

One of the more important pieces of [business] advice comes out of a Pimentel radio interview in the film: “Don’t lead with anger.” The lesson: do lead with passion [but don’t let the bad emotions in].

And, in one likely non-accidental reference, I was smiled at the statement: “If Bush wins, … Oh the cost of it.” Of course, they were referring to George Senior in a different context. But, the ADA was passed under George Bush Sr.

I think Roger Ebert’s review of the film is a worthwhile read as it contains many personal comments. Ebert rightfully points out (as Pimentel himself admits), the ADA was the work of many people, including Marca Bristo.

Personally, although the film has apparently only won a couple of small awards (see the top line), I give the film a great thumbs up. Great acting, great music and plenty of thought provoking moments.

One Comment, RSS

  1. c'est moi

    I will watch, wait, and hope that my satellite provider carries it. Otherwise, it will go on my rainyday summer viewing list. Thanks for sharing.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter

Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter

for exclusive content, insights and eye-opening videos. My promise is to stimulate, educate and entertain. I'll also give an overview of the latest content and alerts about upcoming events at which I will be speaking. You can always find my books on Amazon, including my latest book on leadership, You Lead, How Being Yourself Makes You A Better Leader by Kogan Page.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest