The main character, 35-year-old Gabriel, was inspired by a real amnesiac stuck in the 1960's due to a brain tumor. From there, the writer, Dr. Oliver Sacks ("Awakenings"), created an inspiring story about a conservative father who kicks his hippie son out of the house. For twenty years, they don't speak. . . until Gabriel is admitted to the hospital dazed and confused. Surgery saves his health, but the doctors are unable to undo the damage. Gabriel barely speaks and cannot remember what happened five minutes ago. Despite the heartbreak, his parents visit him daily.
Eventually they discover that music unlocks parts of Gabriel's memory. Like a light switch, a favorite Grateful Dead or Bob Dylan song allows Gabriel to engage in animated conversations. Unfortunately, the music threatens to reignite the old war between father and son. Is the music really helping this family heal or is it sometimes better to forget?
This movie made my husband and I laugh out loud and ache deep inside. When it was over, I regretted the fact that I could've missed seeing it. As far as I'm concerned, this movie was a million times better than "Awakenings" for which the writer is better known. If you missed this 2011 Sundance Film Festival pick, I highly recommend you check out The Music Never Stopped now.
How long would you wait for someone you love to return to their former self? If you'd like another story about how a head injury challenges and inspires a family, read "On the Verge" for $2.99 on Amazon.