Soloist — the Movie

I read the book, Soloist, last year and was greatly moved and touched by the story. So, when I heard that they were movie making out of the book, I was excited. Finally, after many weeks of resistance, my wife relented and borrowed it from RedBox (by the way, there is an interesting story on RedBox on New York Times today.) She is a cellist and does not like movies featuring cello as they generally do not represent cello-playing accurately. This was not an exception — after seeing the trailer, she was already disappointed and refused to watch it. Until yesterday, although she did not finish watching it.

After watching the movie, I was quite disappointed by the movie. The storytelling was flat, failing to bring the richness of the original story as represented in the book. The cellist from the LA Philharmonics was depicted as a comical figure at best, although in the book, the cellist was represented as a much more thoughtful person. I am not sure which one is a true representation and how the cellist feels about his character in the movie. Furthermore, even though I am not a musician, I was disappointed that the actor who played Mr. Ayer did not bother to learn the most basic posture and fingering techniques for cello playing. At the basic minimum, he should have tried vibrato when he plays cello. After all, Mr. Ayers went to Juilliard and I cannot imagine Juilliard letting anyone in who can’t do vibrato properly! In fact, when I saw real Mr. Ayers playing cello, I felt that he was overdoing his vibrato. So, it was obvious the actor did not study Mr. Ayers and his cello playing enough. I was however moved by the fact that the movie actually had people at the Lamp Community.

So, for those who haven’t watched the movie, I would recommend to get a copy of the book instead. You will never know how Mr. Ayers met Yo-Yo Ma at the end of the book, if you only watch the movie.

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