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4.5 out of 5 stars89
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2004
If I'm honest now, when i sat down to watch this film i was ready to be bored. The film is about classical music, so not an erratic story about a group of adventurous rock gods. I was wrong. This is one of the most moving and memorable films i have ever seen, whether this is because its a true life heart wrenching story or it features passion in the form of musical genius, i cannot decide. The superb acting talents made the characters come alive, so much so that the viewer feels that they could describe their feelings to the most intricate detail. I would recommend this film to anyone.
11 comment49 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 April 2015
This film is one that stays with you. More so because of the true
life depiction of a fine classical pianist.
Geoffrey Rush is astounding as David Helfgott. A man whose
wonderful artistic gifts become his down fall. But who as the title
captures does 'Shine' in the end.
David's childhood is a constant desire for acceptance from his
father. A father who is a decent man but who demands far too much
from his son. The potential David shows for becoming a star pianist
is suffocated. His father's attempts at keeping David under his own
management backfire.
David Helfcott's youth and his later endeavour,s to be a truly great
pianist result in harming his health. David becomes poorly due to the
stress and his desire to work himself into the ground.
Geoffrey Rush is wonderful as Helfcott and I cared so very much
what would become of the pianist. The acting by Rush made you have
these protective feelings.
A remarkable film.
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on 15 April 2009
Shine is the Sory of David Haffgott a concert pianist who developed a problem with schizoaffective disorder when he left home to study music in London.The first half of the film focuses on his difficult relationship with his controlling father and his susequent escape to the Royal College of Music. Then the film moves on to his treatment and hospitalisation as he seems to move further and further from reality. However when he meets his future wife David's fortunes change as he re-enters the world of professional performance and finds comfort and support in a stable domestic relationship.

In parts this is a difficult film to watch. The depiction of abuse within David's family is uncompromising and could be upsetting for some viewers. However David himself is potrayed as a genuinely lovable and loving man so when finds a woman who reciprocates his feelings there is a strong sense of closure at the end of the film.
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on 18 July 2012
Countless people have already discussed the story of the film itself. This review is strictly for the quality of the Blu-ray Edition.

I ordered this directly from {Italy}, and I must mention that it has been an extremely long time since I have been emotionally moved in such an immense manner, all thanks to this 01Distribution Rai Cinema Italian company. While all the other companies completely forgot about this film, I am incredibly grateful that they were willing to go through the extreme effort and expense in releasing this film in such a super high quality format. This is not a cheap, quickly-done Blu-ray attempt. The bit-rates are sometimes as high as 45+MBPS!!

I watched this on the 55" LW5700 LG 3D Cinema screen connected to the Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player and the Denon AVR-3300CI receiver in true 5.1 channel surround sound, and the experience was absolutely nothing short of breathtaking! I watched it in 3D, and the picture quality is so immaculate and flawless, that I was finally able to see details and depth in this film that I NEVER imagined possible. This Blu-ray Edition also includes the original trailer in its' untouched VHS quality-level, and it is truly astonishing to witness the difference side-by-side! The sound quality is stunningly gorgeous!! And I could also hear details that I never heard before! This is what I have been waiting for, for an extremely long time, and I commend the Rai Cinema company for doing such an immaculate job on this new release!
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on 2 January 2001
This is the type of film that I love. It sensitively explores the relationship of a gifted young muscician to his repressive, but ambitious father, and later on, of the grown David to the adult world. It is funny, moving, and compelling. I particularly loved the piano playing, and bought Rachmaninov 3 on the strength of it.
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on 1 February 2001
This is certainly a film that can change your view on classical music. The story follows, somewhat erratically via flashback and revisiting, the life of an talented but capped young boy that make you find it hard to believe that it's true. Only when you realise that this is in fact the case does the hardship and struggle faced by David Helfgott really hit home. This erratic story line must have been intentional as it mimics the strange behaviour of the man himself as a result of rejection and pressure from his father at such a young age, and servers only to draw you in to the character more.
The descriptions and delivery of the music throughout gives you insight to the passion and fullness of classical music that always seemed to be missing in music lessons (at my school anyway). Sir John Gielgud's performance as his music teacher makes the music seem as fresh and vibrant as Oasis or Blur today. I dare anyone to watch this and not be moved, heartened and touched by the story of the man, but also not to be enthused to go out and build a huge collection of Rachmaninov or Vivaldi..
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on 13 March 2000
I really love 'Shine' because it's a film that genuinely moves me. It's based on the true story of David Helfgott, who is played as an adult by Geoffrey Rush in this unusual Australian bio-pic. Rush's acting style in this role is so frenetic and convincing that I didn't recognise him at all in later films like Elizabeth! Noah Taylor is equally brilliant playing Helfgott as a disturbed young boy, living in the shadow of an extremely repressive father. Another great reason to watch this video, along with the world-class acting, is the piano-playing - much of the sound for the later post-fame sequences is apparently provided by Helfgott himself.
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on 4 February 2011
The three actors portraying David Helfgott at different stages of his life do a brilliant job. Geoffrey Rush deserves special mention though for his portrayal of the adult Helfgott, who, in spite of all the adversity that he faces throughout his life, shines in his own way in the end. His frantically confused and consistent babbling must have been such a tyring experience - I felt tired just from watching him.

If you're looking for an evening of light entertainment, this is not the movie for you, but the emotional roller coaster is well worth the watch. It will also definitely strike a chord with any musician who knows the pressure that is part and parcel of a professional musician's career.
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on 27 August 2015
I remember spending much time in Australia when this film was out and there was much debate over whether or not his now wife exploited his life to make it a money spinner with tours and cd's also. I won't profess to understand what the mind of someone having suffered any kind of breakdown is like or what it understands or relates too, nut surely a stable life (in all respects) with someone you love over an effectively solitary life in some level of institution. Moving story that covers many up's and down's of a family of that era that can't help to evoke something within. A loveable guy that you can't help but root for.
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on 22 February 2012
There is no way to overrate this film. It is absolutely brilliant, in every respect. It ought to be compulsory 'reading' in every high school and college curriculum.

If ever amazon creates a six star category, it should be first on the list.

The picture shows the horrendous effects of mental terror and the tremendous power of genuine kindness, together with the poison of the indifference many humans show to their fellow humans. All this in a concise visual story in hardly 2 hours time.

Worthy of Shakespeare and GB Shaw.
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