MOVIE REVIEW-SING STREET
It’s been while since I did this, so forgive the rustiness you may encounter.
2016 has been a year filled with movies, gems and busts alike. In fact, if you are an avid cinema-goer, you must be feeling like a kid in a candy store. I mean, everywhere you look, you see a poster about a movie,or a poster ABOUT a poster about a movie. 2016 has given us some great movies and TV shows, which have spawned some pretty ridiculous debates (like that surrounding Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: both are great movies;ENJOY THEM!) and given us new talents. In fact, the studios have so inundated our senses with ads for these movies that sometimes, we miss the release of a few, special gems.
Gems, like SING STREET.
Written, produced and directed by John Carney, Sing Street is about a boy (Conor) who impulsively decides to form a band in order to impress a girl he sees opposite his new school. That is the nucleus of the movie; what grows out of this nucleus is something quietly spectacular. Set in 1980s Dublin, it is more than the coming-of-age movie it is somewhat touted to be. We follow this group of teenagers (almost) every step of the way as they discover the music within themselves and share it with not just Raphina, but potentially the world. This movie is a metaphor, in more ways than one.
I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in here, but Sing Street takes you on a journey, and we see the world through the eyes of Conor/Cosmo played by Irish singer/actor Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and the other cast members. Raphina, the inspiration for the band, is a girl playing at being a woman, dreaming of leaving her present behind and becoming a model. Conor is a kid who sees his interest and his latent abilities come together, pushing him to be more even as he tries to navigate the budding minefield that is his home. Brendan is the older brother who sees an actualization of his own dreams in his younger brother, so he tries to live vicariously through him by giving the best parts of himself for his brother (we see a part of this when he tells Conor that his band can’t be a ‘covers band’ because every covers band “has a middle-aged member who’ll never know whether they could’ve made it in the music industry or not because thy never had the balls to write a song for someone else”) . Eamon is the musical swiss-knife, that one guy in the band who works more than anyone and doesn’t really care about the limelight, just happy to be doing what he is doing.
I’m not much of a drama/musical kind of guy, but one of my all-time favourite movies is August Rush, because of its clever use of music. Also, this movie reminds me of the 90s Jack Black classic, School Of Rock.
Sing Street equals that, if not trumping it. I said earlier that this movie was a metaphor in more ways than one. It is seen in different places:
- Raphina, home and listening to Sing Street’s song “Up” as she strips away the years from her face, becoming who she really is in her private moment,
- Darren expecting Ngig to be able to play something cos he’s Black. That’s like expecting someone to be different because they’re, well, different in some way
- Conor, a boy with dreams. These dreams are the fuel for his music, and it all comes together in one perfect, glorious moment of clarity where he’s shooting the video for “Drive It Like You Stole It”, where Raphina appeas for the video shoot, where his Dad (played by Aiden Gillen) is dancing like the most proud father in the history of fathers, out-dancing and out-jumping just about everyone as he dances with Conor’s Mum, even sharing a kiss with her as they are evidently back together, and where Brendan comes to save Raphina from the clutches of her older boyfriend, where the school bully, Barry, is dancing with his father, etc.
The movie is chock-full of metaphors hidden in plain sight man, and I love this movie for that.
With lots of actual, original songs performed by the band in the movie, including my favourites “Up” and “Drive It Like You Stole It”, you will move and groove to this movie, unless you are not a fan of 80s Rock (like me) in which case you’ll just nod your head and click your fingers. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this movie. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be part of something (I see you Barry), and if we all work together, we just may achieve our hopes and dreams, and maybe gain new ones along the way. And life, like Rock Music, is a risk worth taking.
Sing Street is one of the Best movies you will watch this year, and probably the best feel-good movie to be made in a very, very long time. Do yourself a favour. Go see it.
And here is Adam Levine with one of the soundtracks, a beautiful song about seizing your dreams. Go now, before it’s too late…