Film Critic Rani Jadfa reviews Rudy Mancuso’s Música, finding it to be a unique and upbeat tale of identity, music and love

Written by Rani

Many people will know Rudy Mancuso from his origins on Vine and YouTube through his array of musical-comedy sketches that led to him having over seven million subscribers. Although he mainly created short skits in his bedroom, this origin story becomes incredibly important when you turn your eyes to his directorial debut, Música.

Mancuso uses a very similar humour and musical style but takes his small-scale videos to the big leagues by forming a strong and captivating narrative along with grand musical numbers. Mancuso directed, produced, wrote and starred in this captivating movie, plus made all of the music. So even if the film does not speak to you, you can still appreciate the interstellar amount of effort that went into it.

[Mendes provides] a joyful and heart-warming presence on screen

Rudy Mancuso plays an endearing but down-on-his-luck musician, also called Rudy, attempting to figure out his place in the world between two women and his musically-tuned brain. Camila Mendes also creates a captivating character with Isabella as she creates a connection in Brazillian culture with Rudy. Also, she does not understand the way Rudy’s mind functions but appreciates it for the art he can create, providing a joyful and heart-warming presence on screen.

The entire film was impressive in its creativity with stylistic camera work and interweaving of music

If you are not familiar with Mancuso’s work, it has to be said that his style is incredibly different to what you may expect from a comedy-musical. There is a much higher focus on the beat and instruments rather than the lyrics. Influences are drawn from Mancuso’s own life and experiences with synesthesia as his character translates sounds that he hears into music. This causes struggles within his love life as he becomes trapped within a triangle between his ex-girlfriend (Francesca Reale) and his new love interest, Isabella. Another influence is introduced through the metaphor of the white-American girlfriend and American-Brazilian girlfriend as Rudy has to navigate the divide between his American and Brazilian cultures.

My favourite track was ‘DINER’, which is the opening of the movie and introduces the audience to Rudy’s brain as we watch him turns the sounds of the world into music in his head. Also, the end-credits track, ‘MÚSICA’, seamlessly combines all the motifs of the film, reminding me of La La Land’s ‘Epilogue’ and elements of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ability to layer diverse songs to a climax.

Although the entire film was impressive in its creativity with stylistic camera work and interweaving of music, there was a particular scene that prevailed for me. It begins with Rudy creating the track ‘RHYTHM OF LIES’ in his bedroom, leading to his back wall falling away, revealing a huge sound stage. Mancuso casually puts on a new top to show the passing of time and walks into a golf range.  This continues as a one-shot for almost five minutes as Mancuso walks through the range of set designs that we have seen throughout the film, conveying the chaos and tumultuous nature of that period of his life.


As a director, producer, writer and actor, Rudy Mancuso is a man to watch as this single film is an absolute triumph and I cannot wait to see what he creates in the coming years.

Rating: 5/5

Música is available on Amazon Prime now.

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