#REVIEW: “HIT N’ STRUM”
After making a splash on the Festival Circuit, Musical-Drama Hit ‘n Strum from Stuntman/Musician/Director/Writer/Actor Kirk Caouette now finally sees a theatrical release. Amidst some of Hollywood’s Heavyweights filling our theatres, the Film delivers a distinctly Canadian flavour and instead of disguising itself as Los Angeles, proudly it is set in the streets of East Vancouver.
Centering around a homeless Street Busker named Mike (Caouette) who one fateful day is hit in an accident by Career Woman Stephanie (Michelle Harrison), Hit ‘n Strum is about the unlikeliest of Friendships between two individuals from polar opposite worlds. Although Stephanie‘s intentions to make peace with Mike originally are driven by guilt, we see her genuinely begin to care for him as their Friendship progresses and and his body is weakened by Tuberculosis. Despite her good intentions, what ultimately holds Mike back is his tortured Soul, preventing him from becoming the Person he is capable of becoming. Matters are complicated further by Stephanie‘s impending marriage to Christopher (Paul McGillion). The question that lingers here is whether or not Mike will fall victim to his own pride in his refusal to accept help and charity, and ultimately we wonder what is written in the cards for him and Stephanie as they partner together to make his dreams a reality.
Hit n’ Strum is a Love Letter to the beauty of Vancouver – gorgeous sunsets, shining lights and symmetrical skylines provide a stunning backdrop to this Story about Choice, Fate, Friendship and Music. It is a tribute to the Street Buskers of the City whose stories seldom are told as we pass their guitar cases lined with the sporadic Loonie or Toonie. Every frame is like a Photograph and if the Film was at all budget-challenged, you wouldn’t know it thanks to the superb Cinematography of Pieter Stathis. Particularly good is Harrison whose Résumé to date includes high-profile TV work. There also is a certain lifelessness to the multi-talented Caouette‘s eyes which are effective here. In all, this emotionally complex Tale leaves you with a deep, lingering sense of Melancholy and it succeeds in its conscious choices not to succumb to romantic Clichés or the grandiosity of the Music Business.
Hit n’ Strum now is playing exclusively in Toronto at Cineplex Odeon – Yonge & Dundas.