Sing Street Review

Genre: Musical, comedy, drama
Year: 2016
Rating: M
Runtime: 105 minutes
Main Cast: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Lucy Boynton
Jack Reynor
Don Wycherley
Main Production Companies: Cosmo Films
Distressed Films
Written by: John Carney
Directed by: John Carney

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Written by Nelson Cumming.

If there was a quasi-musical feel-good movie that anyone wanted to see this year, it’s probably going to be Sing Street. This is a great film. It is a movie about a flourishing guy that is living in a dying world. It is not as melodramatic, nor it is as corny. Sing Street has all the makings of what a feel-good movie should be. This movie can be enjoyed by anyone who has had dreams or ambitions. If there is a Pitch Perfect for girls, then this is the Sing Street for guys. In saying that, Sing Street is for nearly any young adult at the very least.

It’s odd writing the premise down as on pen and paper, it sounds like a tired trope. But here it is: The story is about a kid called Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who wants to start a band called Sing Street to get the girl (Lucy Boynton) that he wants, but little does he know that it’s the gateway to something more. He learns through his older brother and his school that there is more to life than living in a miserable environment. It’s the sort of story where you root for the kid from the start and it’s also a movie where you hope everyone finds happiness.

What was so awesome about this movie is that everyone has a moment in the sun. The one person that I applaud in the movie is the older brother Brendan (Jake Reynor) as he teaches Conor about the rock and roll culture and lifestyle. His form of homework is giving his younger brother vinyl records and lecturing about rock and roll philosophy. He does this despite his past failures and dealing with his own struggles. He plays the role that mixes with a no-bullcrap persona mixed in with a genuine care for what is going on around himself. There is also a school bully who looks like a complete meathead and ends up being a fantastic roadie for the band.

Perhaps what is the highlight of this movie is that the character progression of Conor and the band itself which is shown through the evolution of their music and personas. At the start, the band’s costumes are an utterly inconsistent (one is gothic, another is a cowboy, another is a flashy blue suit), their music videos are so campy and are shot with a handheld camera. As the movie progresses, so do their costumes, their videos, and their music. The climax of this evolution occurs at an indoor high school basketball court with about eight dancing girls. The camera is close up to the singer. When the song starts, the camera slowly turns around not to the eight dancing girls, but something that is truly speculator. I have heard this is called the “Prom Sequence” Funny thing is it only occurs at the halfway mark but it’s a moment that will be etched in my mind for months to come and it’s my favorite scene in the movie.

Another great thing about this are the songs. If there is an album for Sing Street I will buy it. All the songs fit perfectly for a movie like this. The songs are from The Clash, A-Ha, Duran Duran and many others. It was catchy and fun to listen to (I was lip singing to the songs that I knew). It’s essentially 70’s and 80’s rock. The music isn’t played with an attitude with middle fingers in the air, but rather a fist in the air of freedom, making the moments in life count and fits with the moments in the story.

If I would sum this movie up to a man on the street I would say “Sing Street is everything a feel-good movie should be” After seeing Sing Street, I went on a bus and as I crossed the Harbor Bridge and looked up at the tall pristine buildings that were glistening by the harbor. It was a mixture of catharsis and ecstasy. At that fleeting moment, I believed that the world was my oyster, just like rock and roll was Colin’s oyster. ****1/2

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