2007 - United States - 90 minutes
Director and Writer - Henry Bean
Internet Movie Database User Rating - 6.5/10 - Link to IMDb
My Rating - 4 of 5 Stars

Noise is about a man suffering a mid-life crisis, but this crisis doesn’t play itself out as an affair or the purchase of a sports car or boat. Instead, David, our protagonist, exhibits his crisis in the form of an all-out attack upon noise.

David and his wife, Helen are dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers. She is a musician and he is a successful businessman. They love the city and would never consider leaving, but David is becoming increasingly aware of the noises around him. Sounds that one comes to accept as natural in city life have started to grate upon his nerves and his sense of right and wrong. The utmost villain in David’s life is the car alarm.

In New York City, there is an ordinance against car alarms sounding for longer than a couple of minutes, but the law is basically ignored by the police causing the public to be victims of the noise. David decides that he will no longer play the role of victim and goes through his neighborhood with a baseball bat smashing any car alarming. He is eventually arrested and goes before a judge who does not approve but is forgiving. David is warned that if he continues his crusade, he will be jailed.

Just as it is difficult for a man approaching his later years to give up his beautiful lover or his shiny sports car, David cannot give up his obsession with noise. His campaign is eventually noticed by the press and the mysterious avenger soon becomes a champion of the people much to the chagrin of the unsympathetic mayor of New York. David’s mania eventually leads to misfortune.

Tim Robbins stars as David, and he is perfect for the part combining just the right amount of drama and humor to make you believe that his character is a real person. Movie fans are very lucky that Robbins and his partner, Susan Sarandon takes parts in little films such as this for their considerable acting talents certainly all to the value of films.

The uptight mayor is beautifully played by William Hurt in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek performance that delights.

It is interesting to note that Noise is fairly autobiographical of writer/director, Henry Bean’s life. He is, indeed, a New Yorker who went on a smashing spree against car alarms and was eventually jailed.

Noise is an enjoyable dark comedy with a valid message. The message is serious but the wit of the piece makes its delivery a very entertaining hour and a half.

Neil Turner
September 27, 2008