Adventures of Power, Ari Gold’s debut feature film, takes us to a small New Mexico mining town too weak to handle what is Power – a man with music in his heart and only one way to play it – mid air. Stuck in a rut amongst his under appreciative family and friends, Power takes his talent to an underground air drumming contest in Mexico where he is scouted out to play with air drumming’s big wigs in Newark, New Jersey. Living in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant while training tirelessly with his team, Power discovers a most unexpected love for the girl who becomes his biggest fan… even though she cannot hear. Determined to cut down the competition at air drumming’s fiercest event, Power must stand up for his home, his hobby, and his heart by defeating an enemy that threatens more than just pseudo percussion music.
Adventures of Power premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and I hope it gets the right rap when it makes it to the big screen for general audiences. Too many moviegoers might get the wrong idea about Adventures of Powers, being prepared to compare its offbeat, socially stunted star to the likeness of one sir Napoleon Dynamite. But I would argue that these two indies are completely separate humor, story, and essence. Adventures of Power is in fact probably the most unique comedy I have seen in a great many years; in a time when American film fans are embarrassingly obsessed with such unoriginal story lines as teenage pregnancy, getting to witness a character with a genuinely fascinating world view and a wonderfully understated wit is a really refreshing treat.
One might assume that a movie about an aspiring air drummer could only appeal to the intelligence level of the second class; yet Adventures of Power turned out to be quite thoughtful and thorough and it resonated with me long after the picture left the screen. Here there are all the elements of a really well written screenplay; each character fits beautifully in sync with the others, each plot point is pivotal, and each bit of dialogue is purposeful and profound.
Powers isn’t an overactive, underachieving mess; he’s a guy who’s tapped into the spirit we all have to harvest if we want to get through the tough stuff. His story, odd as it is, doesn’t just parallel the struggles of the other characters in the movie; it flows side by side with some of the best triumphs real life’s ever seen. I’m pleasantly shocked with the aftereffect of this movie; because of it, I actually learned something about soul.
Published: February 17, 2008