The Healing Power Of Music And Helping Those In Need In The Movie The Soloist
The Soloist is a movie based on a true story and book of a Los Angeles Times news reporter, Steve Lopez. Mr. Lopez is pressed for a column deadline and for story ideas, but continues to come up empty handed, until he runs into a homeless man named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr., a notably talented violinist despite only having two strings, who claims to have attended Julliard. As Steve Lopez looks for a story to write about for the paper, he meets Nathaniel on the street, next to a statue of Beethoven, playing a violin with only two strings.
After Nathaniel claims to have attended the renowned musical school, Julliard, Steve finds out the statement to be true, and attempts to write a story on Nathaniel. After his first article explaining how they met, a cello was donated to be given to Nathaniel. After hearing him play, Steve then uses this opportunity to have Nathaniel stay and play at the Lamp community homeless shelter so that he and his music may stay safe.
As time progresses, Steve’s writings have gained so much attention that Nathaniel was asked to perform in front of a large audience, which drives Nathaniel into a schizophrenic frenzy. Seeing this reaction, Steve tries to get Nathaniel help, which he refuses and ends up tarnishing their friendship. Steve later brings Nathaniel’s sister to him at the Lamp center and heals their friendship.
The Soloist has deep yet obvious relations to the world of psychology. One of the main characters, Nathaniel, has schizophrenia, which is an abnormal disorder. Nathaniel is seen throughout the movie displaying the symptoms of schizophrenia, which is defined as “a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by a deficit of typical emotional responses”. His biggest outbreaks were seen when he was put in situations where he surrounded by large crowds, he would hear voices “speaking” to him which would then cause him to break out into a fear driven frenzy.
Nathaniel also seemed to be partially unaware of his surroundings at times, which constantly put him in harm’s way, caused him to wonder around a great deal, and caused him to ramble on in what almost seemed like monologues. Steve did have good intentions of trying to help Nathaniel out by trying to get him therapy but ended up almost doing more damage because of how negatively Nathaniel responded to his actions. This reflects how people sometimes ruin their chances of helping mentally disabled or homeless people, they have the good intention of getting them help, but they may not want help nor realize their situation as bad, become offended, and withdraw even deeper than before. As portrayed at the end of the movie, just being a true friend to the disabled person can help that person’s mind, which could be the best thing we could ever do in the end.
I personally enjoyed and appreciate this movie. Most times, I often see homeless people on the streets, and my heart breaks to see their current situation. I often wonder how I can help them but was disheartened because I can’t help them financially. I’ve always known that it was good to be an actual “light” to those suffering instead of just giving them money but did not completely have an idea of how to do so, which is why I appreciate this movie. The movie showed just how hard, yet simple and rewarding it could be when you invest not only your money, but also yourself into those suffering.
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