The Beat Beneath My Feet is a fantastic new British movie about a young man who longs to become a musician and a faded rock star who helps him along.
The Beat Beneath My Feet is a film about a faded rock star living beneath an aspiring musician/student in an East London council estate. It's also one of the best original films of the year.
Newcomer Nicholas Galitzine plays Tom, a nerdy student who gets pushed around by the other students at his school, including the girls. Tom, who lives with his mom Mary (Lisa Dillon), loves music, so much so that he's wants to enter the battle of the bands competition at his school. At around the same time, washed up American musician Max Stone (played by a very good Luke Perry), moves in downstairs from Lisa and Tom's flat. Max has the look of a faded rock star - unshaven and unkempt - he is no longer the rock star he used to be. He's depressed because his young son, many years ago, fell into a swimming pool and died. So Max is guilt-ridden, depressed, almost never leaves his flat, and is in hiding (and assumed dead). And he plays music as loud as possible, during the day and into the night. Mary and Tom knock on his door to ask him to turn down the music several times, but Max just ignores them. Mary even calls the council to ask them to step in, but they are no help. Max's music is so loud that Mary and Tom's flat practically shakes. Tom, however, discovers who Max really is. And as Tom is interested in being a musician, much to his mom's dismay, he's intent on meeting the downstairs celebrity rock star.
It's not easy. Max has no desire to let anyone into his flat, much less into his life. But Tom perseveres slowly, slowly enough to win Max's trust. And soon enough, they form a bond for their love of music. Even Mary takes a fancy to him and invites him over for dinner. But Mary's wish is for her son to join the church choir, and not to take the path her ex-husband took - that of a wanna-be musician who's got nothing. Tom's father is so unreliable that when Tom gives him money to buy him an amp, he runs off to Paris with his girlfriend.
Max continues to teach Tom music. So much so that they sit on their roof and sing, and record a song together. The song goes viral and it's then that Max is exposed and his secret is revealed - he's in hiding from the authorities for tax evasion. He runs away and Tom is left on his own, losing his mentor, losing his friend, and losing his interest in music. But he's determined to go through the battle of the bands contest, even though a fellow contestant has ripped off his song from the video. Will Tom be able to go through the performance? Will he get his confidence back? Will Max show up and turn himself in to the authorities?
The Beat Beneath my Feet is a fantastic movie. It's got the look and feel of an In-Betweeners episode, but in this film it is Galitzine who takes the spotlight. Galitzine, in his debut film performance, is very good, and also sings all the songs in the film. Galitzine masterly plays Tom through his ups and downs throughout the film, including scenes of him cutting his wrist. Perry, whose last film performance was in 2013's little seen Red Wing, ups his acting credibitily in this film. He looks and acts like an ageing rock star - his Beverly Hills 90210 days are way behind him. And The chemistry between Galitzine and Perry is palpable, Max as a mentor to the young and innocent Tom. The Wind Beneath My Feet uniquely, expertly, and originally uses animation in some of it's musical scenes, to fantastic effect. "The Devil Cheated Me" is the most memorable - Galizitine in the backseat with the Devil driving him down a darkened highway through Las Vegas, and "The Dream" with Galzitine performing in Max's living room, which morphs into a huge outdoor concert stage. Director John Williams and writer Michael Muller, in this British made film, have created an original and unique film, sure to be one of the year's best, with a soundtrack by the amazing Galitzine to match. I plan to watch this film again, and to buy the soundtrack.
Watch The Devil Cheated Me Here:
The Beat Beneath My Feet opens in select theatres on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015.