Rudderless – spoiler, read at your own risk.
There are quite few flicks that really chilled me to the bone. I can count them in my fingers and this movie is one of them. Rudderless tells the other side of the story. Side that mostly ignored and forgotten.
It was directional debut of Emmy award-winning actor William Macy, features the story of a father who is dealing with the loss of his only son.
Sam Manning (played by Billy Crudup) is in the top of his career as advertising executive, with wife and a son, Joshua Manning (played by Miles Heizer) that studying in local college. It was a big day for Sam after snaring a huge contract for his firm. He called his son Josh to skip classes and take a lunch with him to celebrate. Then at restaurant Sam was waiting for his son when interrupted by breaking news on overhead screen that there was mass shooting incident happen at Josh’s college. Josh is dead. Following the funeral, Sam is not the same person at it was. He was devastated.
Two years later Sam is divorced, no more lucrative job and living on a sailboat. He works as painting crew. One day his ex-wife Emily shows up with papers to sign so she can sell their house and the same time he disposed some remaining Josh stuffs to Sam. That night, out of Sam’s curiosity, he checked his son’s stuffs and found some recorded CD and notes. It was demo song that Josh recorded.
As musician himself, Sam grabs his guitar and plays one of the songs in Josh notes. He realized that he did not know that his son, Josh is musically inclined kid. He feels that he really never know his son completely.
Hesitantly Sam signed up in local open mic bar. He played one of Josh songs and it catches attention of Quentin (Anton Yelchin), a young aspiring musician himself. Just about the age of Josh. Quintin open up to Sam to start a band where Sam reluctantly agrees and then other two youngsters joined them to form a band.
Sam goes along; they played in the local bar. Quentin believes that all song they played is Sam’s composition. The band has gain some popularity and local bar was jammed with followers, even the bar owner offers a full gig to them. For Sam, playing with Josh composition is his personal way to understand his son that seems he never knows.
When the truth exposed that Sam’s music was his son composition. Things started to crash down again in Sam’s life. Quentin who looks Sam as father figure was upset and accepts this in very negative way.
As Quentin badly affected by the truth he learned about Sam, he quit from the band, he discarded his instrument. Sam finds out about this and was remorseful. He feels that he messed up another teenager’s life.
Finally, Sam plays solo in the same local bar and introduces himself.
“My son name was Josh Manning. Two years ago he shot and killed six people. This was his song.”
First thing I wonder is how that tragic incident affects the victim’s family and friend. It must be hard. But I never wonder how it affects to shooters family. Being at the wrong side of the circumstance. It is always easy to hate and judge people.
Photo Credit: Google Images.
In memory of Anton Yelchin. (March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016). RIP.