Louder than Words Review – A Story of Hope and Heart

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"Louder than Words," from Arc Entertainment and Identity Films, presents true story of the Fareri family incapacitated over the death of their child and chronicles the resurrection of hope and determination to immortalize her memory.


Directed by Anthony Fabian "Louder than Words," stars David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton, Ben Rosenfield, Morgan Griffin, Adelaide Kane,  Victoria Tennant and with Olivia Steele-Falconer as Maria and was written by Benjamin Chapin.

"Louder than Words," is the story of a child, the love child as it was, the only child to a couple who found each other after she, Brenda, played by Hope Davis, divorced with triplets to care for and he, John, played by David Duchovny, a confirmed bachelor meet and against all odds fall in love, and build an idyllic life.

The two share a love for design, architecture, family, hope and Maria. The precocious, nine year old, with a natural curiosity, three older siblings who love to dote on her, parents who adore her, friends, family, it is a nice beginning to what has the potential to be a loving, long life.

As fate would have it, Maria and her father are camping in the woods in Connecticut which is the only traceable, as this is a true story, moment when all the elements could have come together to produce the devastating results.

As we are told in voice over early, this is not a sad movie; it is not a movie that, even though the devastation is so poignant and properly played out by our seasoned talents, this story "Louder than Words," is more than that moment.

We barely meet Maria when she is diagnosed with, the one in a 165million chance of being, an untreatable and unknown viral infection. Eventually determined to be rabies from a Bat, it couldn't have been the most rare or more unusual circumstances, which stumped the family, physicians, friends and even the patient. All believed the diagnosis was, of course, wrong and therefore the prognosis was also. It just cannot be true.

Clinging, even in the review, to the fact that this is not a sad movie, the death of Maria and the subsequent grief that family faces is magnified by five. Five different levels, stages, actions, which there is no textbook definition or pattern, stages, definitive steps or progression and then freedom and it will magically be over.

As our family barely breathes over the next couple of months we are introduced as John comes through first, and as all expected him to be the pillar, his failure to hold his family together during this time made it all the more difficult to rally when he was the first to function again.

And still, as he was on the path, all had to quickly join as his grief which now took the form of a speeding train and he was going to do what he did best: He would build a hospital, name it for his daughter and have a place where the devastation of the events are not compounded by the externals.

This is where we meet Bruce Komiske, played by Timothy Hutton, who initially and quickly understood the dream was clearly thought out, the pieces, stepping stones and every approval necessary, however, was not. They play the awkwardness well and it translates.

Soon, everyone comes on board for this undertaking the "no's" become the brick walls that Randy Pausch, the terminally ill Carnegie Mellon professor, spoke of as being there to determine how much the dream is really wanted.

Our family, breathing again, is finding a way. Suddenly, the donations begin to flow, and the land approvals, led by Lydia, played by a barely recognizable Victoria Tennent, the chair of the deeply divided town board known for personal vendetta changes opinions, and with intensity equal to the illness that wouldn't stop its death course the life of the project takes over

Soon everyone comes on board and it becomes the house, the hospital, that love built.

"Louder than Words," is a true story based on the life, death and family reaction of Maria Fareri, a nine year old from Greenwich Connecticut. The Maria Fareri Children's Hospital stands today as a monument to her, forever immortalized with her whimsical spirit, her love of colors, typical 'tween things, and private spaces, built with the eye of a child and the need of the parents who are both in a place they should never be.

"Louder than Words," stands as a testament to love, as even the best medical minds cannot stop every disease, the power over the devastating and debilitating grief belong to those who can fight the second death grasp.

The story is uplifting, and depicts grief with clarity and authenticity. I thought it ran slow until I realized those seasons are that way, it is as if you can barely breathe, let alone be in control of mind, thoughts, ideas and ready to charge forward. It isn't a sad story as we are told in voice over; it is a story of feeling, love and getting beyond the darkness to see what the light leaves us. It's good.

"Louder than Words," is available from Arc Entertainment on DVD and VOD. 

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