First apologies to those expecting a film review last week.
As John Lennon once wrote – Life interrupts when you are making other plans, and in that musical train of thought it is kind of appropriate that the movie up for review this week is Sing Street. Also the fact that this movie is Irish with St Patrick’s Day having just passed is also quite apt.
This movie is a love letter to 1980’s Dublin, now I lived through this era and was about the same age as the main character in this movie. It was a bit more grim than this movie portrays. This movie has certainly got it’s rose tinted glasses on and by the end of the movie you really won’t mind that it did.
Sing Street portrays teenage life for Conor Lawlor ( Ferdia Walsh – Peelo ). Home life is a bit fractured for Conor. His parents portrayed by Aidan Gillan and Maria Doyle – Kennedy respectfully are on the verge of separating, this means that the family have to re – examine the finances and Conor has to transfer to Synge Street – Christian Brothers School, see what the filmmakers did there. For those not in the know the Christian Brothers in Ireland had a fearsome reputation for implementing their rule of law and these don’t disappoint and he also has to deal with the school bully as well !!
Conor’s eyes one day drift across the road from his school and he sees the girl of his dreams ( Lucy Boynton ). Before he knows what has happened, he finds himself talking to this girl who informs him that she is heading off to London very soon to become a model. Despite himself he informs her that he is in a band and they just happen to be looking for a model for their first video, one problem – he has yet to set up this band.
Well quicker than you can say it, he and some mates from school set up said band and pretty much try to find their sound. Starting out as a faux Duran – Duran inspired band morphing into a Cure – styled band and then sort of alighting finally on more of an Indie vibe to their music. Despite the fact that girl of his dreams says she has a boyfriend, he keeps admiring her from a distance and in time she warms to his charms.
This movie sort of by accident has become part three of Irish director John Carney’s musical trilogy, the other’s being the very successful Once and the more overlooked Begin Again. While watching this movie, ones mind can’t help wandering to another movie about another small Dublin band, The Commitments. But there the comparisons stop, this band pretty much get on well with each other and the school bully even ends up as their roadie.
Whether you grew up in this era as teenager or not does not really matter, but it certainly helps as this movie wallows in 80’s nostalgia. Long before You Tube, your weekly teenage life revolved around Thursday night in front of the television watching Top Of The Pops on the BBC, well at least if you lived on the east coast of Ireland , the television signal from a Welsh TV transmitter just about reached that far. A feel good movie to be sure and I shouldn’t forget to mention another Irish actor Jack Reynor’s star turn as Conor’s older long haired brother who tries to steer Conor in the right direction musically.
A musical treat, go you won’t be disappointed and one of the best Irish movies in many a long while.