What is the story about?
Music obsessed teenager Marcus (Keean Johnson), is diagnosed with Brain Tumour needing immediate surgery. However, the surgery would make him lose his hearing. He decides to travel across the country and record a playlist of all his favourite songs and tunes. His mom stops him from doing so, but he runs away and meets a singer, Wendy (Madeline Brewer) from a local club. They both head to New York armed with a mission to compile a list of favourite and avoiding her ex-boyfriend.
Ever since the popularity of The Fault In Our Stars, a lot of films have been made on sick teens. One may even go back to the time of A Walk To Remember or talk of the recent releases ' Five Feet Apart' and 'Babyteeth', to know that films on sick teens are an instant favourite with the audiences. People, as morbid as it sounds like to see teens grappling with illness and death and coming to terms with it. Even adults over the years have shown a fondness for such films. It could be the over-the-top drama or perhaps, knowing that there are not-so-happily-ever-afters in real life too. The Ultimate Playlist Of Noise may strike a note with the intended audiences, but someone would wonder as to why neither him or his parents get a second opinion of his condition. However, it does manage to evoke certain emotions and certain sounds illustrate what Marcus is going to lose.
Keean Johnson credibly plays the role of a vulnerable and innocent teen. Wendy, however, is the stereotypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl who exists in a movie simply to make the male character find himself while embarking on an adventure. Though, Madeline Brewer has done a decent job, the character is so unrelatable that it falls flat.
Music & Other Departments
The music is at the heart of this movie. There's a beautiful montage when he and Wendy reach New York and he plays Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". The music works in sync with the sounds of the city streets -- coins clanging in a jar, taxis honking, people shouting, and metro jetting by. It is a reminder of the fact that Marcus will be missing all of it and I feel this is one of the most well-written scenes in the film.
Even though the movie is a predictable fare, it does have some funny scenes like when Marcus eating a stale hotdog and throwing up, Wendy damaging private property for her own enjoyment.
A lot of sub-plots in the movie don't seem to have casual explanations- For eg How did Wendy manage to edit an Audio CASSETTE in 2021! Why his tumour on one side of the head would make him lose hearing in both or how does his family learn sign language so quickly.
Did I enjoy it?
Not really. This is an average tear-jerking teen-drama, that is best skipped.
Do I recommend it?