I don’t usually watch thriller but this show had quite a good review and there wasn’t any other movies to watch. I know, you will beg to differ, what with X-man, Spiderman, Bad Neighbours all getting rave reviews. Luckily Bee is not choosy and generally trust my choice of film. She knows I am not into superheroes and probably not heard of Bad Neighbours. So, I decided on this movie.
Grand Piano is a short movie, just 90 minutes long. Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is an accomplished pianist but is a real scary-cat. Throughout the movie, he has the look of a person in great fear, first sitting in an airplane going through turbulence, then in a concert as a victim of a psychopath wanting to kill him. The movie is really quite unbelievable.
Tom returns to Chicago and went straight from the airport to the theatre to perform in a concert organized by his beautiful actress wife, Emma. The last time he performed, five years ago, was marred by stage fright and was poorly received. This time, he will be playing on a grand piano owned by his mentor, who has since died. He is under great pressure not to repeat his mistake.
When the concert starts, he is shocked to discover a handwritten threat on the score, to kill him if he plays a wrong note. Midway during a pause in his repertoire, he goes into his dressing room and is instructed via a text in his Blackberry to put on an ear-piece to receive further instruction. Then he is told that if he tries to raise any alarm, his wife sitting in the audience will die. And if he plays a wrong note, he will die.
And Tom continues playing the piano in the concert with the orchestra, at the same time trying to get help by texting his brother in the audience while performing, and talking to the killer, all without playing a wrong note. The brother and his wife is killed of immediately. One wonders if he can play while being distracted, how did he get such a reputation in the first place?
The last item in the program is a solo without the orchestra accompaniment, and he is told to change the program to play another piece. This is a highly difficult piece and requires precise nimble fingers with dexterity to execute. If properly done, the melody will cause a chain reaction inside the grand piano to release a key to a vault holding the vast fortune of Tom’s mentor.
Sitting in the cinema, you wonder how is it that Tom can play the piano and converse with the killer at the same time and yet not make any mistake, if he was well-known for playing wrongly. Also, the audience was given the killer’s perspective too soon and there is no mystery who is behind or the purpose. In fact, it’s almost comical when we see the executor arguing with the plotter as to how he should go about doing the killing.
While the plot is clever, the movie fails to convey the tension and mystery behind and all I am left with is the perpetual worried look of Tom to convey the fear.