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Rudy Mancuso is a Brazilian actor, musician, puppeteer and internet personality. He was diagnosed with Synaesthesia, a phenomenon in which one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In Mancuso's case, he can experience sounds differently to other people.

Mancuso has channelled all of the above themes into his directorial debut Música, a Prime Original romantic comedy set in New Jersey with a focus on music. Música is a joyfully unique, vibrant and energetic rom-com, with a focus on Brazilian culture and music that sets it apart from the rest.


A young man with synesthesia faces an uncertain future while navigating the pressures of love, family and his Brazilian culture in Newark, N.J.


This is clearly a passion project for Mancuso, which can be seen in his direction. He injects so much life into the movie, both in front of and behind the camera, making it ooze with charm and put a smile on your face within an instant. The cinematography is vibrant and colourful, it's full of culture and a sense of community and the music truly never stops. Cleverly incorporating sounds and tunes through our characters general movements, it's a toe-tapping delight that effortlessly puts you into Mancuso's shoes and gives insight into how he interprets the sounds around him. It's light on its feet and feels airy and upbeat in a way that we don't often see portrayed in film. Música moves at a fast pace but never feels rushed, utilising every second of its 90 minute run-time well. It packs in music and songs, relationship drama, Brazilian culture, puppetry and plenty of other ideas, yet never feels overstuffed. The outcome is an incredibly creative and authentic achievement that has so much flair.


The romance is secondary to the music, as it should be, but even though the focus is elsewhere, it's still a romance worth rooting for. Rudy is an incredibly flawed yet likeable central character who is very well developed; his Synaesthesia and passion for music makes him a refreshingly interesting lead to follow. Despite not making the best decisions at times, his natural charm and talent makes you root for him regardless. Mancuso delivers in the acting department as well as the direction. Starring opposite is Camila Mendes (Riverdale) who is doing what she does best here. She looks stunning, plays a very down-to-earth and kind character and is undoubtedly the person you dream your lead to end up with. Any scenes between the pair are sweet as their chemistry is so genuine, and their personalities seem to complement each other well. Rudy can be a bit of a cynic who dreams of something bigger and better, which balances well with Isabella's love for where she lives and her sense of community. She also takes time to understand Rudy and his way of thinking and interpreting, something that his past partners have not quite understood. They're a great match, with a relationship that's so joyful to see blossom, even if the romance portion of the film is a little on the familiar side.

The style and approach of Música is utterly unique, yet the story can't help but feel formulaic. Despite its obvious chemistry, the romance plays out exactly as expected from the moment our characters are introduced. The plot is very by-the-numbers, and it's easy to pinpoint exactly when the make-ups, break-ups, musical numbers and turmoil will take place. The coming-of-age aspect is also something we've seen before, as our lead explores his options after graduating from college, and toys between taking the route that he should or taking the route he is passionate about. The love triangle trope woven into the romance side of things certainly increases the stakes and makes for a really creative restaurant scene involving Rudy flitting between Isabella (Mendes) and his girlfriend of the last four years Haley (Francesca Reale), but it relies on miscommunication and feels a bit tired. Let's be real, though – the formulaic nature is mostly forgiveable because the movie is just so damn fun.


Música is a unique, creative and cheerful breath of fresh air that breathes new life into the rom-com genre. The way Manusco manages to create art and music from the mundane is astonishing, and seeing it come to life through film is something not to be forgotten. The performances are good, the romance is believable, the theatrical approach is fun and the visuals are wonderfully colourful and vibrant. The storyline may be fairly standard, but the execution provides some of the most interesting film-making of the year. This is a passion project that has paid off, as Manusco has created an introspective and authentic self portrait that manages to entertain from start to finish.


Rating Música



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