‘The Music Never Stopped’ will take you home

Samuel Towns

“The Music Never Stopped” is an inspirational new film directed by Jim Kohlberg. This was an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and features music by Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Buffalo Springfield.

It’s loosely based on a true story that chronicles one father’s journey toward reconnecting with his estranged son.

A relatively unknown actor, Lou Taylor Pucci, stunningly portrays Gabriel, the son, who, after getting into an argument with his father, runs away from home.

Twenty years pass, and the young man comes into a life all his own. But a crippling blow is dealt when a brain tumor greatly debilitates Gabriel, causing him to lose his ability to create new memories.

The father, superbly portrayed by J. K. Simmons, now runs the risk of losing his son forever. In light of these new circumstances, he vows to make a meaningful connection before it’s too late.

Though we all invariably lose things throughout the course of our lives, our sufferance is not universal.

To the father character in “The Music Never Stopped,” loss means never again having moments where he, his wife and his son are all in the family car having a good time.

Loss to him means losing a son. The father makes a few wrong choices, but, in the end, proves to be a good father.

He sees through the petty differences between himself and his son and does all he can to make up for lost time.

Communication is always a prerequisite for reconciliation. And a common language is required to communicate. That language, which ultimately connects Gabriel with his father, is one that’s universal: music.

Gabriel’s favorite band, The Grateful Dead, or as he simply calls them “The Dead,” becomes a Rosetta stone of sorts that enables father and son to once again communicate. Through the familiarity of the rebellious songs that Gabriel grew up listening to, and through the openness of the father character, the two reestablish their father-son relationship that peaks as Gabriel’s father gets tickets to a show featuring The Grateful Dead.

It will be playing at Tivoli Cinamas (4050 Pennsylvania) through March 24.

“The Music Never Stopped” has moments of pure, unadulterated tragedy. Provided you have a heart that pumps blood throughout your body, it’s impossible to not be affected by the human element in this film. If you intend to go see it, bring a box of tissues along just in case.

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