Words by Matthew Schuchman
You and five friends are on a mission. You’re wearing ski masks, dressed in black, and force your way into a bank. All of the employees are moved into a position away from the money and you have three minutes to have your way with the place. The silent alarm has been tripped, and you know it. What do you do? Put on a drum clinic, of course.
Amadeus Warnebring is the eldest child in a family of musical geniuses. His father is a world famous conductor and his brother was a violin virtuoso by the age of four. Amadeus however, is tone-deaf. He hates music and anything dealing with it. As the top officer in Sweden’s Anti-Terrorism unit, Amadeus is taken aback when he becomes the lead on an investigation of what turns out to be, musical terrorists. Now by musical terrorists, we mean, a group of six drummers that are choosing specific locations in their city, then using everything around them to create their magnum opus. The group has specific needs, while amongst other things, breaking into a hospital and stealing a patient to be used as a human drum machine. They also “rent” some construction vehicles for some earth shaking bass, and play with the city’s power lines a bit.
The Sound of Noise isn’t a preachy lesson on the importance of performance arts. It’s a witty adventure that hits all the bases. A romance, a comedy, a musical, a drama, an action film; it’s all those possible genres rolled into one, and is delivered in a pleasing, groove-inducing package. The amount of thought that went into producing quality drum-centric music is equaled in the script writing. The storytelling aspects weren’t written as a throw away; in fact, it all served a purpose, as these drummers would exact their master plan of sonic protest.
The story pits an amazing contrast between it’s two main characters. Amadeus wants nothing more than for all music to stop, while Sanna, the mastermind behind the group of musical marauders wants people to understand that music isn’t just for packaging and consuming; music is everywhere. Their opposing views don’t keep them from sharing an interest in the other, which adds depth. They both benefit from the other and it’s this contrasting relationship that keeps the movie from falling into pointless space. It’s easy to get caught up in the interesting ways the group finds environments to play their masterpieces, but the rest of the tale keeps the movie grounded and moving forward. One part without the other would collapse this film into oblivion.
Around halfway through the film, we were already convinced. The Sound of Noise has made it’s way around festival circuit and has been released overseas, but March 9th marks its official U.S. release. Despite a long list of films set for release this year, The Sound of Noise is the best film we’ve seen. Check your local listings, or take a weekend vacation to whatever city it’s playing in, you’ll be happy you did.