when the supposedly organized and civilized society clashes with your own conceived world, (i.e. your girlfriend or your boyfriend tells you that you and only you are his/her world) eruption of random colors, like the ones you see on the now playing screen of windows media player, happens and chaos will most probably take over your life anytime soon.
in joe wright’s (pride and prejudice, atonement) latest movie the soloist, chaos enters the scene the moment mr steve lopez (played by robert downey jr) realizes that nathaniel ayers (jamie foxx) is schizophrenic and needs to be medicated and treated. when lopez starts to force changes towards nathaniel’s life, some things apparently start to fall apart.
one day while scouting for a story to write for his column, los angeles times journalist steve lopez encounters nathaniel ayers playing a violin with only two strings at one of the parks of los angeles. this sparks mr lopez’s interest and immediately writes about the guy who idolizes beethoven and plays the violin with only two strings at the parks and subways. an inspirational column follows. soon, mr lopez finds himself constantly trailing nathaniel’s steps while digging more information about his. every encounter leads mr lopez deeper into nathaniel’s life. he learns that nathaniel used to play the cello and was also a former juilliard undergraduate. later, he also learns of nathaniel’s past as well as his self-talking habits and schizophrenic tendencies.
mr lopez writes more columns about nathaniel. more people become inspired and mr lopez spends even more time with nathaniel. this draws them closer together which leads to the point where nathaniel not only considers mr lopez as his friend but also his god.
despite their differences, mr lopez follows nathaniel’s journey to self realization from the streets of los angeles to the walls of the the lamp community center for the homeless and to the exterior down to the interior of the disney concert hall.
mr lopez and nathaniel are those souls who do not immediately realize how their connections and their drive to affect and influence each other could lead to introspections and self actualizations.
when mr lopez tries his best to weave change in nathaniel’s life, (helping him get an apartment, arranging music training sessions for him, trying to place him under medical treatment) nathaniel breaks down.
some people works best when alone, and nathaniel ayers is one of them. he is one person whose talents manifest best in environments of solitude. mr lopez becomes aware of this and later tries his best to adapt with nathaniel.
despite this soloist nature of nathaniel, mr lopez soon realizes that nathaniel needs no medical treatments, but a friend.
thanks to the outstanding performances of robert downey jr and jamie foxx, the movie effectively move hearts and stir up emotions of the people at the movie house. although some scenes could have been done better by adding a little bit more ounce of heart into them, the movie succeeded in delivering the its messages to the audience.
nathaniel ayers’ story is an inspiration that most people need to see especially during these times when depression rules the air.
you can read the la times articles of steve lopez about nathaniel ayers here