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Cast: Elijah Wood, John Cusack
Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is the most talented pianist of his generation, but has stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public for a long awaited concert in Chicago. In a packed theater, in front of an expectant audience, Tom finds a message written on the score: "Play one wrong note and you die." In the sights of an anonymous sniper (John Cusack), Tom must get through the most difficult performance of his life and look for help without being detected.
"Grand Piano" is a thriller that sounds great on paper but the finished product is a bit disappointing. The story focuses on Tom Selznick, once deemed the best piano player of his time. Five years earlier he attempted to play his mentor's "impossible Piece" but played the wrong notes. That sent him on a downward spiral and it gave him a bad case of stage fright. Now he has decided to take the stage again for a long overdue performance thanks to his wife for coaxing him to do so. But things are about to get worse for Tom, there is a sniper inside the building and he has written notes on Tom's music sheets which tell him to play the notes perfectly or else. There is also a note that tells Tom to go to his dressing room where he finds a Bluetooth so the sniper can communicate with him. Now the sniper wants him to play the piece no one has been able to perfectly, but why?
There are plenty of reviews already out there that spoil the film but those who know me know that I do not like to ruin the film for those that are waiting to see it so I am not going to go on about the sniper's motives or anything else that happens plot wise here.
The film was a mixed bag for me. I would call the film "Phone Booth Meets The Piano." it starts off good enough but the two things that ultimately caused it to fail was the lack of real suspense which seems to only occur towards the end and the actions of Tom during the show which where just too unbelievable to take it seriously.
Now there were a few good things about the film as well, one was the acting. Elijah Wood does a great job playing the stressed out pianist and the supporting cast did a good job as well. I am hesitate to include John Cusack because he is only seen at the very end of the film.
Another thing I liked was the reason behind wanting Tom to play this particular piece. I am not going to spoil it but I thought it was clever but not fully executed the right way.
So the conclusion is I enjoyed the film as an one off but it had so much more potential. It is worth a watch for those of you that like thrillers
"Grand Piano" is available on DVD and Blu-ray with Special Features that include
Behind The Scenes
AXS TV: A Look at Grand Piano
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment
** 1/2 Out Of *****