I instantly fell in love with the film because of the intro music. I also instantly loved the first character on screen. His acting was so intriguing and the cinematography was so beautiful. I connected with him on a personal level because I too have been told to let go of my far-fetched creative dreams and focus on having a regular job. I rooted for him because he was a reflection of myself. Too bad he never came back to the screen!
Not to worry though, because Jerry Herst enters with his own ambition and talent. He also has to prove to himself, his father, his brother, and the world that his creative dreams are worth it. I naturally needed him to succeed. As he went through his own journey to discover what inspires him, I also wanted discover what inspires me. His struggles and fears are my own. Do I have it in me to make my dreams come true? Don’t we all ask ourselves this question? He has to make money, has to do work that might be seen as less-than his standards, etc. yet he doesn’t give up. As he grew, I grew.
I love the great maestro. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco says, “Never cover up your first draft. You cover up your divine inspiration for intuition. No more erasing.” Each aspiring artist that he works with has their own obstacles to overcome. It makes the story so tangible. You start thinking of your personal obstacles and how to succeed in spite of them. You want to tap into your own inspiration for intuition.
The landlady Miss Stella is also captivating. I wanted to know why she was the way she was. Her earnest situation parallels Jerry’s. He is fighting the demons of past doubt, she is fighting the demons of past heartbreak.
The music in “The Maestro” transcends you, the poetry touches you, the character development encourages you, their interactions teach you and make you laugh occasionally.
Tedesco is the all-wise sage who doesn’t really struggle much on screen, even though he doesn’t get credit for his work, making his growth a little bland compared to Jerry’s. But he has a lot of quotes that can be turned into posters, “You’re waiting for your life to begin. While you wait, time passes. It passes. You will wonder, ‘do I have it?’ Is it here, is it there? What is ‘it’? What is ‘it’?” I wanted Jerry to just get his life started! He does get his life started, in his own way, in his own time. If he can do it, why can’t we?
Although the scenes move a little slow at times—the hair and makeup, wardrobe, and sound were terrific. The score was amazing. The editing was beautiful too. I loved the contrast of black and white scenes with the rich color of the “current” scenes. The natural acting made the story run so smoothly.
The take-away of the movie is best summed up by Jerry’s own realization, “I can’t spend my life waiting for people who I don’t respect to give me their approval... Some of us don’t go on to do great things. But if we’re lucky, we do small things with great love.” Chase your dreams despite what others think, and do it with love!