The name Brian Wilson is synonymous with musical creativity in its purest form. When you think of American rock n' roll you think of The Beach Boys via early 1960's. I distinctly remember being turned on to, what's commonly referred to now as the oldies genre of music, at a very young age. It was the kind of music my parents grew up on, and I thank God they introduced me to it. It was the beginning of my music education.
And one of the artists I was introduced to as a kid was The Beach Boys, with their surf and summer sound to their music. But singer/songwriter of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, became with obsessively interested in doing something completely different and new with the sound of their music. So while went on their tour for their last hit album, Brian Wilson stayed behind to create their next album Pet Sounds '65-'66. And what he created was indeed something No One had ever heard before!
This film tells the story in two different timelines. One is during the early years when The Beach Boys were at the peak of their stardom and Brian Wilson created the album Pet Sounds, in which he suffered the beginning stages of a mental breakdown that caused auditory hallucinations. And the other timeline is around 20 years later when Brian Wilson is older, meets his second wife Melinda Ledbetter, played with so much soul by Elizabeth Banks. Whom is known for mainly acting in comedy roles. And the later years are were also seemingly a dark period, as Brian had been under the manipulative power of a man by the name of one Dr. Eugene Landy, played by Paul Giamatti, a man who used his professional psychological expertise to literally control every aspect of Brian's life and ultimately wanted to use him for intended financial gain. But no matter what Brian went through in his life, Melinda continue to love him unconditionally, through all the madness; and fought for him.
What I found really interesting and exciting to watch is the choice to cast Paul Dano to play the younger Brian, and John Cusack to play the older Brian. Both brilliantly and heartbreakingly portraying the neurosis and ultimately, mental breakdown of Brian Wilson. And what I found inspirational how Brian used his illness and madness to conjure some of the most beautiful and unique sounds in his music during and after the album, Pet Sounds! I would recommend this film for anyone who loves The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, or even just music! Because in the end, you will get a beautiful story you never knew about, you'll get to relive music you remember and love, you'll get wonderful direction by Bill Pohlad, someone you probably never heard of but would easily recognize his work as producer on some incredible films; and more so, you'll get some tremendously strong and glorious performances from the cast!
See This Remarkable Film and Experience The Life of Brian Wilson In A Way You Never Have!
Love & Mercy Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"