THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST OF NOISE (2021)
The young adult sibling to awards contender Sound of Metal, The Ultimate Playlist of Noise surprises with a touching tale of love, loss, grief, and triumph led by an exceptionally talented Keean Johnson.
When a high school senior (Johnson) suffers a seizure, benign tumors are discovered in his brain that require surgery, an operation that will result in the loss of his hearing. He sets out to create a playlist of unique noises as he ventures to New York, along with his new love interest (Madeline Brewer), to hear his late brother’s recordings. There is a charm to this film that maintains your attention from start to finish, not only due to the darling young leads, but also in the genuine representation of teenage emotions, especially in the most challenging of times. There is a lot at play in this script, not only focusing on the impending loss of hearing, but also on revelations about our main character’s late sibling. Add in a complicated love interest and you get a young adult grab-bag of topics addressed, though not in much depth and admittedly slow at times.
It is in the sound mixing that The Ultimate Playlist of Noise really takes off, zeroing in on common sounds and the way we experience them to drive the narrative of the story and demand empathy for the main character. As the cherry on top, the final moments of this film are truly something special with a heartwarming hospital room interaction that will surely put a smile on your tear-filled face. You’re left pondering the underappreciated aspects of your own existence and feeling a renewed energy to live each day to the fullest.
The Ultimate Playlist of Noise is now available on Hulu.
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter