Meet Tom (Nicholas Galitzine). On the surface – and a little way beneath the surface as well, come to think of it – he is your common or garden geek. He is lanky and awkward; he is not particularly good at making friends. But underneath all that he has a burning passion: music. The problem is, his mother would probably die, and kill him, if she so much as guessed he has a guitar he practices while hidden in the apartment air vent. Salvation for Tom comes in the rather extraordinary guise of his secretive new neighbor (Luke Perry). He may be noisy, antisocial and, incidentally, introduce himself as Stephen, but he can’t fool music buff Tom. His real name is Max Stone and he is an ex-rock icon with a dark past and a secret to keep. Luckily for Max, Tom’s silence is easily bought. All he needs to do is teach Tom how to play the guitar like him in time for the Battle of the Bands competition at his school.
It would be easy to write this one off as a typical “coming of age” movie. Or one might call it just another film where two “broken” and seemingly incompatible characters become a pair of unlikely friends and overcome the obstacles in their lives. They may (or may not – let’s not give spoilers) find love along the way too. And don’t get me wrong, it actually is all of the above, but this is where the film’s true artistry comes into play as it is so much more besides. The film introduces newcomer Nicholas Galitzine as the lead actor of the film, definitely making an impressive entrance. In his first role in any feature film, Galitzine carries off the film superbly and is a wonderful constrast with Luke Perry who is excellent as the embittered and reclusive Max Stone.
But that is not the end of Galitzine’s talents, as, incidentally, he does a more than decent job at actually singing too. Because, it must be said that music is a very real part of the film. In fact, during the Q&A after the film writer and producer Michael Mueller pointed out that one of his main aims was to make a film “where music was at the centre, like a character, pushing the narrative through”. I would say they have succeeded. The film includes several songs purportedly written by Tom, which come with their own little music video sequence. The influence of director John Williams is clearly felt here; the director comes from a background of working in animation and has directed several music videos for big names such as Radiohead, Coldplay and The Offspring. And when Galitzine’s musical talent comes together with Williams’ imagination, the music videos blend into the film incredibly well and bring the music in the film to life without actually making the film a musical.
So when will we be able to see Beat Beneath my Feet in cinemas? The cast and crew hope this will be soon. The film is going to be screened at the Clapham Picturehouse on the 9th of November with discussions attached to a nationwide release still pending. In the meanwhile though, the crew is involved in a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdshed in order to raise the funds for its cinematic release.