Review: Sing Street

Unless it’s a Disney film, it’s not often that a film which features original songs find their way onto the “downloaded” list on whichever music provider you use. But with John Carney’s latest cinematic outing, you’ll be lying if you say you don’t get a least one of these songs stuck in your head. 

Set in 1985 Dublin, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is forced to move to a new school when his parents get divorced. Everyday he see’s the same girl stood on the steps outside and every day he carries on with his day. One day, however, he decides to approach her and tells her he’s in a band and needs her for a music video. Impressed, she agrees – only one small snag, he doesn’t have  band! Guided by his music loving older brother and new-found school friends, Conor forms Sing Street.

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Each character in this film has their own quirks. From Conor who changes his look depending on which band he’s listened to most recently to Raphina (Lucy Boynton), a girl with big dreams from a small town, and Brendan (Jack Reynor) Conor’s big brother who lives his life to the gospel of music, each character is really likeable and a pleasure to watch. It’s unusual in this day-and-age to find a film which doesn’t have a villain. Sure, Brother Baxter is unlikable but he’s not a villain.

Personally, however, the best character is Eamon (Mark McKenna), a loner who spends his time learning all the instruments in his dads cover bad. He quickly becomes Conor’s best friend and co-writer. He is always willing to help his friend and is remarkably sensible in the face of Conor’s requests – expect for when it comes to rabbits. He regularly answers the door holding a rabbit, has them running around his bed and even suggests naming their band “The Rabbits”. When asked what his obsession with rabbits is, he simply replies “I dunno, I just really like them.” Maybe it’s just because I’ve found another rabbit lover that I like him…

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While it didn’t get a huge cinematic release, Sing Street has found its way onto Netflix only seven months after it’s release in the UK. For a lot of films, that may tell you that it’s not really worth a watch, but Sing Street defies that completely. It took only $63,000 on its opening weekend in the US, so  now it’s on Netflix, it will, hopefully opened it up to a bigger audience which will allow it to be appreciated where it wasn’t on the first release.

Anyone who appreciates the likes of The Jam, Duran Duran and The Cure are bound to enjoy this film. Not only being used extensively in the film, there are heavy influences in the original songs created by Gary Clark and performed by the very talented lead Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. Not only are the songs catchy, but memorable and could actually make it as singles. While it’s a musical of sorts, it’s not a cheesy “bursting into song” with fully choreographed dance routines type, but a thoughtful, rough around the edges journey through adolescent love.

 

The cast for this film is impeccable and made up of relative no-bodies. None of the main cast have had acting credits before, but after this film it wouldn’t be surprising if they get picked up for something bigger. Walsh-Peelo is a fresh-faced teenager who hasn’t appeared on-screen before but with the ability to both sing and act is certainly not going to be restricted to bit parts.

If you find yourself at a loss of something to watch, watch this. It will leave you with a guaranteed smile on your face, and your toe tapping to an exceedingly catchy song.

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