Andrew works as a janitor at a theater, but he’s also a musician. Gifted at piano, he’s trying to get a foothold in the professional classical music world, but isn’t having much luck.
But unbeknownst to him, he has an audience — a young homeless boy named Christopher, who sneaks into the theater where he works and listens whenever Andrew sneaks a moment onstage to play. The boy has an interest in music, and Andrew takes the boy under his wing, introducing him to the craft of piano as well as giving him attention and care.
But Christopher eventually disappears and Andrew’s aspirations go unrealized, leaving him melancholy and disappointed. But his generosity and kindness eventually pay off, leading him to uncover the true source of his greatest fulfillment.
Writer-director Henry Quilici’s elegant, heartfelt drama is about the ways we connect and affect one another, whether it’s through the transportive power of music or the small yet crucial generosities we bestow upon one another. The film features minimal dialogue at first, instead of letting the rich, subtle performances and the beautifully evocative original score by Max Quilici draw viewers into its resonant atmosphere.
Similarly, the film takes an equally restrained approach to craft. The camerawork and photography are stately and composed, and the images and editing take their time, never rushing the story along. Like the beautiful song that gives the film its title, the storytelling continually holds interest, and the careful, patient tempo allows viewers to really connect with the story’s characters as they themselves connect with another.
Actor Laurence Fuller offers a subtle, compelling performance of a performer and artist, capturing both the serious yet hopeful demeanor of a musician trying to establish a career and a man happily mentoring another into a world of music, art and creativity. He connects with young actor Zakary Risinger with an effortless kindness, and their connection is beautiful to watch as it unfurls. And it pays off beautifully, as he discovers just how his generosity bears fruit in the end.
“Echoes of You” takes its artistry from the classical music that Andrew plays, prizing harmony and elegance in form and feel. But it never gets in the way of emotional resonance, or its larger message. Andrew may not get exactly what he dreamed of, but in the end, he realizes his talent and artistry still had meaning, and deeply affected the audience he did find. The best of art — and in life — is about giving, whether it’s of resources, time, beauty, attention or effort. And when we give from the heart, our love and purpose find its fullest expression and its deepest joy.