OUTSTANDING movie presented on an average DVD
FrontPage | Baltimore, MD United States | 09/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bear in mind that this was one of the first generations of DVDs that were released, and so many of the additional features that we enjoy now were never added in these earlier release titles. I do hope that "Shine" is re-released with more in- depth features, including something that focuses on David Hefgott, the pianist that this movie is based on. I truly hope the decision is made to interview or document Helfgott in some way. That's the only reason I deducted a star, because the movie is outstanding. I would urge those who enjoyed this film to contact FineLine Pictures, who released the movie, and urge them to create a special edition DVD to include this. The real David Helfgott actually contributed as a musician (pianist, of course) for this wonderful film about his life, dramatizing his struggles through his childhood and breakdown as an adolescent. Yet it isn't about gloomy and depressing accounts but about survival and living to the best of one's abilities. Those who have little patience with people who are schizophrenic may become a bit uneasy at the performance of Geoffrey Rush who played the adult Helfgott. Rush's acting was impeccable and very believable, which is why some might be a little agitated or confused at the stuttering and incomplete and rambling dialog by Rush's character. But have patience in getting to understand Helfgott as the movie progresses. It can confuse the viewer since there are flashbacks and flash forwards. But you know, this was one beautifully produced movie. It has had high replay, because the film simply touches the heart. Just relax and allow the movie (and Helfgott's character) absorb you. By the end, you'll really FEEL how much of a journey that David Helfgott traveled to arrive where he did.And for those who enjoy Lynn Redgrave, my gosh. Her portrayal of Gillian was superb. Redgrave didn't even get any type of top billing and she didn't appear until late in the movie, yet I felt like Gillian and David were my own family by the end. The DVD's special features include a movie trailer, a video clip of an award presented to Rush (look for Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise together in the audience) and a somewhat unusually- formatted Q/A with director Scott Hicks (about a dozen questions are displayed and when you select one, a video with an answer by Hicks plays). "Shine" wasn't meant to be a tearjerker movie, but it got to me. I sometimes can't watch even the trailer without getting a lump in my throat. Lovers of piano concertos and also those who appreciate classical music would be especially grateful for this cinematic gem."
Triumph of the Soul, Triumph of the Cinema
Jonas Cukierman | Chicago, IL United States | 05/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the greatest stories of overcoming obstacles, Shine is the pinnacle example of good old-fashioned tenacity and persistence in a world that stigmatizes the emotionally needy. Based on the life of Australian Piano virtuoso David Helfgott, the film takes us on a journey of anger, relationships, triumph and forgiveness from beginning to end. After a growing up with an abusive father and suffering a nervous breakdown, Helfgott faces the struggle having been in and out of institutions for the greater part of his life. Trying to piece his life back together he rediscovers his talent and begins to realize the fact he has just as much right to be happy and successful as anybody else. The storyline and director keep the audience open-eyed until the very last moment where we are allowed to witness the subtle but unmistakable climax. Geoffrey Rush, who portrays the role of Helfgott during his adult life, performed all music as seen (no hand doubles) and heard in this exceptional story of the human spirit's capacity to overcome."
SE | pr | 02/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shine is about dreams, love, failure and success. Young David Helfgott wants to go abroad to study piano and take advantage of a grant he's offered against his father's wishes. The emotional stress ends up crippling his dreams of becoming a famous pianist and spending a good part of his life in a mental institution. This movie is filled with magical scenes with subtle messages like the one where the David's father goes to see him after many years and talks very casually and almost apologetic about trivial things and then leaves as we see him walk down the wet dark streets below from David's point of view. The father's message: "I'm sorry son" and all the images-the wet streets(=tears), the fact that is nighttime (shades of blue- blue means trust, frienship) is all to symbolize the sadness and the love that David's father feels inside but is unable to express verbally to his son. It's a powerfull scene and althought there are no tears on screen the viewer of this movie will provide his own. Shine is great film that takes a different path and stays away from the Holywood formula. Geoffry Rush plays Helfgott as an adult and you should see Rush's work in "Quills" playing opposite Joaquim Phoenix who's one the besy up and coming actors today, and who plays Comodus in the Academy award winning movie "Gladiator"."
All dramas should be made this way.
Alessandro Bruno | 08/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This should be used as a textbook example of how all dramas should be made. Everything about this film is right, it's moving, the acting is brilliant, it's believable and it doesn't take it's audience for granted. It knows what we hate about usual dramas, usually produced by the sentiment of Hollywood, and avoids them all. Director Scott Hicks shows that he knows how to deal with the development of a particular character when he is played by several actors over a number of decades. He keeps the character flowing and growing believably through the brilliant performances of both Noah Taylor and Geoffrey Rush. Armin Mueller Stahl, as helfgott's father, is also brilliant, and the whole cast are capable. An engaging, moving experience, another example of how Australian cinema is blossoming talent in all areas."