Director: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Lucy Boynton, Mark McKenna
A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes. (Source: IMDB)
For me, a good sign of a musical film, is one that makes me immediately want to listen to the soundtrack afterwards, and Sing Street easily fits into that category. The original songs and the classic 1980s soundtrack are wonderful and were one of the real highlights for me.
Whilst it is sometimes easy for the music to overshadow the story in a film like this, there is a wonderfully simple story at its heart, but one which can easily stand on its own without the music. There is of course the romantic storyline, but for me the most important relationship in this film was that between Cosmo (Walsh-Peelo) and his older brother Brendan (Reynor). Indeed the film is dedicated to “brothers everywhere”, and it was this relationship which really hit me. There’s a beautiful scene between the two brothers where Brendan talks to Cosmo about the path he seems to be heading on, and it’s emotional scenes like this which help to add some real heaviness behind what is otherwise a very joyful film.
There’s some quite heavy themes underpinning this film; there’s divorce, bullying, religion, not being afraid to stand out. Whilst it never allows itself to be fully weighed down by these, it again helps to make this more than just a “musical”.
The film is about a band so naturally music is central, but there are many facets to this film in terms of how the theme of music is portrayed. It shows music as a tool of love, as an output for creativity, as something which unites people, as a way of expressing emotion, as rebellion, and as a form of escapism. The latter is shown beautifully in a scene where Cosmo and his siblings listen to music to drown out the noise of their parents arguing.
With all this going on, the film still manages to be very funny, particularly at the beginning in the early stages of the band. The performances are all great, particularly those of the young leads. I haven’t seen the actor who plays Cosmo in anything before, but he was excellent. I really liked that the focus was on the kids in this film, and despite the period setting, that sense of disenfranchisement is something which most could relate to.
There was nothing majorly awful which stood out for me, but at times the story did get a little monotonous. It’s a very small and simple story, but one which stretched over 106 minutes did get a little samey after a while. It is however great to see the progression of the band over time, and there were enough musical interludes to keep me entertained throughout.
I saw this movie and you should too. What a great little movie, and a real surprise for me, considering I knew next to nothing about it before watching! It’s effortlessly cool, unashamedly feel-good, and wonderfully joyful. If you’re a fan of this musical era in particular, you’ll love it, but there’s something for everyone to enjoy here, and it’s definitely worth a watch!
Agree with everything I’ve said or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below.