After Maynard's less-than-favorable review (see here), I was in no rush to see this. Fast-forward to Memorial Day and my brother decides to watch it. Okay, I guess I will see it after all.
Piano tells the tale of Elijah Wood's concert pianist. After having a panic attack and not finishing a show 5 years ago, he is back to try the same peace. It was, after all, written by his Mentor. He is also playing it on the man's Piano as well. Pressure much?
To pile on, he gets a threatening note on his sheet music. This is confirmed when a man- who is obviously John Cusack- shows him that his threat is real via the red dot of his sniper rifle.
The pressure and stakes raise as Wood tries to find some way to call for help while being watched. The presence of the man's henchman- Alex Winter...the hell?!?- makes this even harder.
Unfortunately, this film gets sillier and more ridiculous as it goes on. You just keep going 'What?' 'Huh?' 'How?' as it goes on. So much promise...but at least this Poster is cool.
I wanted to give this film a real good chance, in spite of what I read about it. The film should be great. To me, it feels like a mix of Opera, Dario Argento's The Card Player and Phone Booth. The way it looks- while aping Argento alot- is nice and it looks very polished. The problem is just that it falls apart under scrutiny. The menace is a bit silly as you start to think about it, the villain's plot is weird and Wood's ways to seek help is a bit odd. There are other little things here and there- like how his piano part in the performance has long gaps in it- that just make you question things. Oh and that Ending...just no. I found it a bit funny too that Cusack appearing was treated like some sort of surprise, since nobody can recognize the voice of this guy who has been a movie star for 20+ years! A plot like this could have worked great as either a Short Film- just cutting to right before the performance- or with more set-up to make the late-film revelations seem less silly. Clearly the complaints from folks like me are not bothering Wood or the Director...
In summary: A neat idea to start with. Not so clever ideas to keep it going and to make it reach full run-time. Rent and decide for yourself.