A Heartbeat Away
- Director:Gale Edwards
- Cast:Roy Billing, Colin Friels, Sebastian Gregory, Isabel Lucas
- Release Date:March 17, 2011
- Running time:91 minutes
- Film Worth:$9.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
For the most part, this proves a flat and underwhelming affair which redeems itself with a solid ending and a strong ensemble cast.
Kevin is a teenage wannabe rock star, but he winds up with a marching band instead when his injured conductor dad is hit by the bus. Part drama, part comedy, part coming-of-age movie, the action (if it can be called that) takes place in a small town during the lead up to a crucial band comp, amid smaller stories about the little guys taking on the big developers, and a tale of a star-crossed romance. Arguably a recycling of the 1996 Ewan McGregor film Brassed Off, this Australian offering is a flat but inoffensive affair that lands at an unexpectedly well executed finale.
Shot around Queensland's Moreton Bay, A Heartbeat Away is also a film about music, but you won't leave the cinema hanging out for the soundtrack - this is elevator music.
There are no complaints about the performances. Sebastian Gregory (so fine in the unfairly underrated Beautiful and Accidents Happen) is engaging as Kevin, displaying great comic timing despite the unfunny confines of this film. Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) is well cast as Mandy, Kevin's heart's desire and daughter of the mayor (Colin Friels, who brings more than a dash of irony and flair to his role). As Kevin's parents, William Zappa (Mad Max 2, Crush) and TV stalwart Tammy MacIntosh bring the weight of experience to their roles, but although the supporting cast that play in the marching band are all good, their characters are ill-defined.
In her first feature film, theatre director Gale Edwards has taken the standard recipe for a feel-good comedy/drama, but missed the vital ingredient - spark. This is by no means a bad film, but that doesn't mean it's good either. It does redeem itself in the home stretch when you suddenly realise that you do actually care about these people after all.